Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bugs in the House!

Not in the bad way.

In the good way.

I love bugs. You guys know this. In the last 20 years of collecting insects I've amassed a pretty decent collection. (Though many of my oldest bugs did not survive living in storage when we moved to the Netherlands. Such is life.) One of my absolute favorite things to do is to take my insects out and show them to kids or the public in general.

Collecting anything can be such a solitary experience, and part of what I adore about insects (and why I use them as a subject matter in my art) is that they are incredible (not to mention our world would not function without them) but they are overlooked, forgotten, despised, or ignored. It gives me a lot of pleasure to share what's great about them.

I am very fortunate in that I get opportunities pretty regularly to share them. For the past two years I have been a part of our school's annual Turn Off the TV Night, which is just what it sounds like. I was asked to have an exhibit at my town's First Night celebration Middnight on Main. I also take them to my own kids' classrooms at least once a year, and occasionally to the classrooms of teachers who are friends.

I had a message from my second grader's teacher last week saying they were doing a bug lesson and could I come by?
You better believe my answer was a speedy "Yes". You see, I got a tobacco hornworm caterpillar for Christmas (I know. Take a moment to chuckle over that one) and I really wanted to share it with the kids. I was able to bring the caterpillar, three collection boxes, a few books, and several specimens in lucite that the children can actually hold and examine closely.

Here's a photo of my own son with the caterpillar. It's freaking huge (and going to get bigger). I didn't take photos of the event-- I was too busy talking and answering questions.

But I did want to share the absolute best part of the experience: the thank you notes from the kids!! (How thoughtful and terrific is my son's teacher?)

Here they are-- the images and their comments were absolutely adorable.

 I promise, I did not yell at anyone, despite what the drawing shows.

 I love a good butterfly.

 The detail on this one is spectacular.

And of course, one from my son explaining how just after my visit he "saved an ant" he found in his classroom.

What could be better than bugs and art? Not much in my book.

How do you share your passions with your community?

What's your favorite insect?

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