This summer I ran an Art & Nature Journaling workshop at the arboretum here in town. One (of the many!) highlights involved preserving a butterfly that one of the girls had found on the ground in a parking lot. It’s wings were stiff and closed up, so we put it between wet paper towels until it softened, then very gently spread it’s wings. We used tracing paper to hold the wings down and then secured them in place by pinning around them. We let it dry overnight. The next day when we unpinned it, the butterfly held it’s position - wings open. Beautiful. We lay it in a flat box to later be glued into for display.
Insects fascinate me. I love to observe them in their tiny worlds. I especially appreciate the variety of unique forms they take on, each like a miniature sculpture.
Months ago, when I saw an entomology class offered at the New York Botanical Garden, I signed up. Taught by Tam Nguyen, I loved every second of it, including the exams.
Gain a basic understanding of the structure, growth, ecology, and evolution of insects and their role in human life. Learn how to collect, identify, classify, and preserve a wide variety of insects.
The librarian at the NYBG introduced me to a book which was very helpful in my pursuit to learn more about collecting and preserving specimens!
A key to identify specimens.
Recommended by the librarian at the NYBG. Best book ever.
Advice on recording information in the field.
The class touched on entomophagy:
en•to•moph•a•gy noun The practice of eating insects, especially by people.
I knew this was common in other parts of the world, but hadn’t realized it’s been gaining traction here in the states. Of course I had to try it for myself, but approached it in the tamest way possible and haven’t advanced beyond this point, yet…
Found this guy while cleaning out a light fixture then put him under my desk lamp for a closer look.