Wednesday, May 1, 2019

"Big Bugs" is Brilliant!

David Harry Grodzinsky-Rogers' first all-natural materials sculptures were dinosaurs, so it's doubly befitting that the Fernbank Museum of Natural History hosts a "David Rogers' Big Bugs" exhibition!

Big Bugs will be on display in WildWoods at Fernbank through July 21, 2019, and is free with admission...and they're great FUN!


David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

"It was in the fall of 1990, while staying on a cousin’s farm in Vermont’s Green Mountains that I encountered a maple sapling bent over from a previous winter’s ice storm. There was something about the curvature and posture of this particularly ravaged tree – a backbone to a large beast, perhaps that suggested a new life for the tree. Using dried branches and different varieties of tree saplings a 'dinosaur' sculpture emerged in twelve inspired days,"
David Rogers

David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

As soon as you walk into WildWoods—the 75-acre "backyard" at Fernbank—you see the first of the 10 really, really big bugs in the exhibition! 

Some of these bugs are rarely seen, so they're excellent for teaching kids about their important roles in nature and how many of them are "friends" to humans. Seriously! Did you know that dragonflies eat mosquitoes? I call that friendly! 


David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

I would venture to guess that most of us know that a mating female Praying Mantis sometimes eats—as in consumes—her mate after mating. A regular practice in the mantid world, it doesn't deter male mantids from wanting to mate. 

The actual size of a Praying Mantis ranges from half an inch to six inches long! This one is massive and the welcoming sculpture in the exhibition.


David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

When I was a kid, we used to play with Granddaddy Long Legs spiders! That must have been before seeing the classic 1977 William Shatner horror flick Kingdom of the Spiders! But then reading The Amazing Spider-Man comic books made spiders okay again, but we didn't play with them anymore. 

According to Guinness World Records, the largest spider in the world has a body that's a foot long! The one that set the record was discovered in 1965, so it's long gone. We just won't talk about what's still out there today, okay?

The spiders in the David Rogers' Big Bugs exhibition are anything but menacing, though. They're practically jovial! 


David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

I mean, look at that face...it's adorable! It's Pixar-esque, right?


David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

It's awesome that we get to see 10 "Big Bugs"! But, did you know that it's estimated that there are approximately 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 insects alive at any given moment? The idea of that is like imagining just how BIG the universe is! AND, insects very likely have the largest biomass of terrestrial animals. Bugs are totally fascinating, that's what I'm trying to say.


David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Ladybugs are thought to bring good luck, so just imagine the LUCK a 7-foot long ladybug would bring a person! Then again, ladybugs are attracted to light colored houses, especially ones with a clear southwestern sun exposure. I wouldn't call an infestation of 7-foot ladybugs good luck, but you can't help but love just this one, right?

When I was a kid we had a collie named "Ladybug". We loved that dog sooooo much! Did you know that Lassie has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? So does Bugs Bunny! Just sayin'.


David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

I don't know what kind of spider this one is or if it's a general representation, but it made me think of the myths of "writing spiders" that I heard as a kid. I couldn't find any citations of these myths except for chat rooms where others recalled the same myths. What, if anything, did you hear about writing spiders when you were a kid?

The spider above is a fun one and the web...the web is fantastic! Of all the Big Bugs, this one is the one that you get to get the closest to, but remember, no touching! 

Speaking of touching, in my senior year of high school, a friend named Dreama had a pet tarantula. She bought it to school one day and the brave lad (read not-so-bright) that I was wanted to "hold" the spider. I let it crawl on my arm and within seconds of it climbing onto my arm the lights went out!!! I totally freaked for a second, but didn't move, during which time the lights came back on. That was an experience I'll never forget!


David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

This dragonfly is at the lower level of WildWoods, near the creek. Did you know that dragonflies begin their lives in water? Did you know that dragonflies have been around for 300 million years? Some fossil dragonflies have a wingspan of TWO FEET! This one is even bigger than its ancient ancestors!

Although their size may make them a bit underappreciated, insects, spiders and bugs act as many things from decomposers to pollinators, and even help with insect control...this outdoor installation offers an exciting new perspective on these creatures,” said Fernbank's Vice President of Programming, Bobbi Hohmann.

This is a must-see exhibition, not only for entomologists, but for nature-lovers, art-lovers, kids, kids-at-heart, and anyone with a spirit for fun. Go see the "David Rogers' Big Bugs" exhibition at Fernbank Museum of Natural History now through July 21!

2 comments:

Teresa Halminton said...

The work is so amazing!! Wow!! My friend will kill me if I take her to see the spider one.
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karamela said...

فنحن نقوم بكافة أعمال التنظيف للشقق والفلل والقصور نعمل على تنظيف كافة المنزل بداية من الأرضيات سواء كانت بلاط أو سراميك أو رخام و أيضا نقوم بتنظيف فرش الأرضيات سواء موكيت أو سجاد بأكثر من طريقة سواء باستخدام البخار أو بجهاز الرغوة الالية أو باستخدام الفرشاة الاليه. كما نقوم بتنظيف الأثاث بأجود المواد التي لا تؤثر على درجة الالوان أو حالة الأخشاب كما نقوم بتلميع الزجاج ممها بلغ ارتفاعة.

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