I spend a lot of time sitting at my computer desk writing various things (scientific papers, blog posts, e mails, short stories) and wandering the internet. It’s a rather crowded desk, but everything is in its place, even if that place is one of the little piles of papers on either side of my keyboard. I also happened to really look at my desk yesterday for some reason and I noticed that I’ve also got bugs all over my desk.! (I’ve got bugs all over my house, so it’s only natural that they find their way onto my desk too I guess.) Here are 5 insect things that are on my desk right now!
Lethocerus americanus Plush
Made by the fantastic Weird Bug Lady! I love my plush giant water bug and it makes me really happy to see him sitting on my scanner. He makes a great pillow if I’m falling asleep at my desk. I also pull him down and use him as a hugging pillow now and again, when I get frustrated with something or get stuck at some point in my writing. Nothing eases tension like hugging a plush Lethocerus! :) (Brigette also has a great blog, Caterpillarblog! Check it out!)
Butterfly in a Jar
My husband got this for me for our anniversary this year and I love it! I tap it several times a day to make the butterfly fly around inside the jar and it still hasn’t gotten old. I am also a huge clutz and don’t pay nearly enough attention to where I’m going, so I smack into my desk while sitting down or knock the desk hard with a book at least 3 or 4 times each day. My butterfly dances around in its jar every time I do and it makes me smile. Actually, my butterfly flies so often that I’ve had to change the batteries several times since I got it! It’s amazing how much joy I get out of a few pieces of plastic, a wire, a couple of batteries, and a mason jar… (You can have one too! They’re available on Think Geek.)
Adventures Among Ants
My birthday is this weekend and I have been getting gifts in the mail. Bug gifts have featured prominently! My sister bought me an awesome handmade mayfly pottery serving bowl. (I’m providing the link because I really love the potter – even though her damselflies are really mayflies – and maybe some of you will too!) My husband can’t keep gifts a secret and I got the book Wicked Bugs from him last week. Adventures Among Ants is from my dad and arrived today, hence it’s still sitting on my desk. I’m super excited about getting to read it finally!
I have two things that symbolize my decision in high school that I was going to become an entomologist. One is a bee necklace, a honeybee encased in resin, that my aunt bought at a natural history museum for me. She was the first person to take me seriously when I started telling everyone I was going to be an entomologist, and I consider my bee necklace my good luck charm. My sister gave me this mug shortly afterwards. I used it to fuel my tea addiction for many years, but it’s developed some cracks and is now enjoying a second life as a pencil cup. Bright colors, insects – what’s not to love?
I apparently have quite a collection of dead insects on my desk! Some of them are things I still need to identify. Others are insects I’ve found in the house that aren’t nice enough to put into my collection, but I hate to throw away. Some have a real use. In the photo above, you see a plastic bag containing a damselfly to ID and a shed green darner exoskeleton, an Odontomachus trap jaw ant I found in my yard that hasn’t found its way into my alcohol collection yet, a plastic cryovial full of mealworms to feed to giant water bugs, the tarantula hawk that I featured in last week’s Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday, and the half chewed cicada that I mentioned in Insects the Dogs Ate. Clearly, some of these things have been on my desk for a while…
I’m going to assume that most people don’t have a desk covered in dusty dead bugs or jars filled with electronic butterflies, but maybe some of you do! Anyone else want to fess up about the insects or other science related things on your desk?