On a recent trip to the Field Museum, The Seven-Year-Old and I wandered into a tiny room downstairs that looks deceptively like a pleasant little reading nook. There’s a desk, a wall of butterflies, a collection of bugs trapped in amber, and this:
Some of the beetles in the Field Museum’s collection. Small child provided for scale. (Photo: Shala Howell)
Rat-sized beetles. The Seven-Year-Old was absolutely fascinated by them. I had to retreat to a far corner of the room to wait while she studied every feature.
I’ll be glad when the bug phase is done. Judging by the amount of unconscious scratching The Seven-Year-Old did while examining the Field Museum’s unconscionably enormous collection of stag beetles, she’s conflicted too.
“Goliath beetles, Mommyo, and they’re perfectly harmless. They drink nectar. Like bees,” The Seven-Year-Old said.
Yeah, harmless. If you ignore the thousands of people who have died of heart attacks after finding one of those dudes in their garden.
When the small child ran screaming from the room, I told The Seven-Year-Old it was time for us to go too.
Oh, look, there’s Sue.
“Are you going to need that costume later? My Mommyo wants to borrow it for Halloween.” (Photo: Shala Howell)
The Seven-Year-Old, angrily, to the sound of much paper sloshing around underfoot: “Why does she mess up my schedule like this? I have a schedule book and nowhere in it does it say ‘Clean your room’!”
Canelo crawled into my lap while I was working this afternoon. Within seconds my keyboard was covered in cat hair.
Canelo was here. (Photo: Shala Howell)
The Cat Hair Ejection Fraction is very high in this one.
Instructions: The Seven-Year-Old. Photo: Shala Howell.
Mommyo, grabbing her coffee mug by its body: “Oh! That’s hot!”
The Seven-Year-Old, sagely: “That’s why they invented handles, Mommyo.”
Introducing Canelo, our new super sweet and snuggly 4 month old kitten.
Canelo, keeping an eye out for that Hound. (Photo: Shala Howell)
The Seven-Year-Old is over the moon, and reads Canelo a bedtime story nearly every night. According to the Seven-Year-Old, Canelo simply adores Sherlock Holmes, although he wishes he would hurry up and catch that big dog already. Hounds that size have no business being on the loose.
(Photo: Shala Howell)
Spotted this Great Blue Heron on my way to the Wooded Island a week or two ago.
Next time you’re at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, take a few minutes to follow the walking trail behind the museum across the Clarence Darrow and/or North bridges. There you’ll find Frederick Law Olmsted’s Wooded Island and the Osaka Garden, one of the few remaining remnants of the 1893 Columbian Exposition. The island has been converted into a nature sanctuary and is an important stopping point for birds migrating through the Midwest each spring and fall.
Osaka Gardens with the Museum of Science & Industry in the background. (Photo: Shala Howell)
If you look closely at the center left section of the photograph, you’ll see a large, but kind of squatty bird. It’s a black crowned night heron, which has a remarkable ability to stay focused on fishing despite any intruding paparazzi.
Totally ignoring me. And yes, I was actually that close. (Photo: Shala Howell)
A tiny map courtesy of Google to help you on your way:
(Artwork: The 7YO Howell)
The Seven-Year-Old, sweetly: “Mommyo, you’re like a needle sewing my existence together.”
Happy Saturday, y’all.
(Photo: Shala Howell)
Hello, fall. When did you get here?
Self-promotion is vexing. But I did want you to know that I have a new article out today. A Kid’s Guide to Chicago appeared this afternoon on the vacation rental site, Dwellable.
Go, valiant readers! Swarm their servers with traffic and glowing commentary!
Most importantly, when you’re done with that, get on your bike and ride the Lakefront Trail (or whatever bike trail is closest to you) while the good weather holds.
Postscript: The Seven-Year-Old is super excited about this, and wants me to post this very special drawing that she created to commemorate the occasion.
Picture title: “The World War I flying ace” Text below the picture reads: “‘Headquarters must be planning a new drive. I don’t recognize alot of these new men.’ The World War I flying ace muttering.” (Artwork: The Seven-Year-Old Howell, based on a cartoon by Charles M Schulz)
In other news, regular blogging resumes this week, with the first post scheduled for Wordless Wednesday. (Ironic, isn’t it?)