AES and more books
For me this is all about browsing through thousands of books (new and old), fondling aspirational field equipment and catching up with a few like-minded acquaintances - it was a pleasure to have a gossip with Seth Gibson and Bill Dykes, plus a brief exchange with Tony Davis and Graham Collins.
The usual suspects were present - the young, tattooed and body-pierced goth insect breeders (now there is a sub-culture to analyse!); the retired university lecturer types that hang around the field equipment stands; and normal people like me (!!!!?). Quite.
As always, my favourite stands are those that display published material, in particular the one manned by those good people from Pemberley Natural History Books. Today they relieved me of a few pounds for three titles: the newly published second edition of British Soldierflies and their allies, the newly published third edition of Wildguides British Dragonflies and the critically acclaimed Slugs of Britain and Ireland. It is no longer safe to have a field guide (or key) that is a few years old such is the pace of new identification features, taxonomic changes and, particularly with the dragonflies, range expansions.
Some regular visitors to this blog may remember me announcing that I was going to stick to birds, plants and lepidoptera from now on - the subject matter of all three of my purchased books clearly states that this was a load of hot air.
I normally buy an MV bulb when I come to this show, but in a break with tradition, I didn't. See, I can be a rebel...