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Passion Quote of the Day

Meave Leakey

Pioneering Paleoanthropologist

I was always collecting insects and caterpillars and this and that. We had a very small cottage because it was the war years, so my father was away in the war. We were living in a small cottage in Kent with woods all around it. So I used to go out and collect all these little insects and things like that. I really loved nature even in those days. My mother said -- we had a little porch and the porch was full of jars of things that I used to feed everyday -- she had a number of stories of how I kept little furry caterpillars. I used to keep them on a matchstick and go to bed with them and then they'd get out in the night and there were furry caterpillars all over the bed. But I don't remember too much about it. I just remember vague things. I think the memories --you never know how much you remember and how much you've been told and you put things together. But I think, really, in those days I was interested. Then, my father was very interested in natural history, and as a child he had always done that sort of thing. He used to take a lot of photographs, so he taught me how to develop and print photographs when I got older. He had all these wonderful pictures of wildlife and birds, and snakes and lizards, and all sorts of things. I remember just loving spending time with him in the workshop and in the dark room. And learning how, and seeing all his photographs that he hadn't really looked at for years and years.
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