Today was pretty stellar. How could it not be when it began with a visit to Riverfront Museum to spend a little time with some beetles? I had made arrangements several weeks ago, so I've been looking forward to this visit and it was worth the wait.
I've worked with entomology drawers before but it was more of a free for all - eyeballing a shit ton of specimens in a short time. Today I spent two hours with only three drawers of insects (all beetles). I've never had so much time, so up-close and personal with bugs before. Try it sometime, it just might make you see things differently.
Their antennae and legs make the most beautiful lines. You can compare their faces and shapes with other living things and then you begin to realize these extraordinary skeletons once held tiny lungs and hearts and stomachs inside - all of the things that make us tick but bug-style. Here are some of my favorites...
I brought my workbook along and did some quick sketches and a lot of note-taking. This visit was set up to do drawings from the collection but it's so much more than that. It's the experience as a whole. It's the physical space surrounding you, the background noise, it's how the specimens are arranged within the cases, and the other non-related objects that are within view.
What I love most is how certain specimens pull you in. There is always one in particular that is utterly fascinating and you can't guess which one it will be in a million billion years until you actually see it - then you think, "That's the one".
My "one" for today is the stag beetle below (3rd row up, 2nd from the right). And it's not stag beetles in general that I became enamored with (because I saw a lot) it is this very specific stag beetle. I guess it's a little like falling in love.
Pages from the workbook...