A Rather Limited Entomology Case

We have a small collection of cased entomology at home. It’s mainly lepidoptera, but there are a few other things in there too, bees, beetles etc. It’s small because I don’t kill creatures for the collection, and so the only time I  add to it is when I encounter an already deceased specimen that is still in a good enough condition to be preserved for display.

Today I  stumbled upon  a butterfly in good condition which had expired on a footpath above Hebden Bridge.  If it dries out ok, hopefully it will make a nice addition to our (rather limited!) case.


Ironic Turf

For easing living my friends in Leeds have a square of astro-turf at the front of their house. The weather has been so sunny (and rainy!) recently that the rest of the garden has gone mad, and even unwanted plants have started growing on top of the turf by rooting into the plastic… including weeds, moss, as yes you guessed it, turf!


Nature does have a sense of humor. I’m convinced.

Taxidermy: Creativity, Curation, Context & Care

Image © Sean Dooley

On Friday, 18th July 2014, I attended Taxidermy: Creativity, Curation, Context & Care, a conference organised by the Natural Science Collections Association (NatSCA) at UCL, UK. There were some great presentations from Errol Fuller, Merle Patchett, Joanne Hatton, Jazmine Miles-Long, Andrea Roe and Sean Dooley.

Some interesting issues were raised about the subject, and of course, a few of the more contentious elements  of  the practice were discussed and debated. There was a  strong interdisciplinary mix in attendees demonstrating how taxidermy continues to connect museums and museum professionals, with artists, collectors and academics.

Thanks to NatSCA and the organisers for another insightful event!


Natural Nostalgia @ The Tetley, Leeds

Yesterday I facilitated an informal public talk and debate entitled Natural Nostalgia at The Tetley, Leeds.


We covered many, many areas of debate concerning the relationship between taxidermy (and nature preservation more broadly), and notions of  nostalgia, longing, memory and marking time. Many thanks to those who attended, some really interesting ideas were raised, from the ethics of Gunter von Hagen’s Bodyworlds, to the origin of culturally constructed nature clichés such as the classic ‘robin-perched-on-letterbox-in-the snow’ Christmas card!

The seminar was part of Aidan Moseby’s residency ‘No Time for Nostalgia’, and to make things even better, we were treated to free ice-cream! Thanks Tetley!


Hebden’s Wild Orchids

Yesterday I went for a run (much more like a jog in my case) along the Rochdale Canal and encountered these beautiful flowers, I suspect they are a type of wild orchid? If you know what they are please do share. They were a little hidden, but I really hope that other people have had the opportunity to see and enjoy them too.