It is often said that growing older, and journeying through adulthood, is a process that will, fingers crossed, eventually return us to the curiosity and joy we knew when we were very young.
Kids, after all, don't recoil at seeing a bug skittering by; they want to know why it has so many legs, such strange eyes, and what it eats. If you've retained that wonder about our wing-rocking, limb-plentiful co-earthlings — or you share that wonder with your own child — then fly by the Natural History Museum for Bug Fair on Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17.
Bug Fair, beyond beyond way cool, is, in fact, "the biggest bug festival in North America" and the "most popular weekend" on the calendar for the Exposition Park institution. (And, yes, "way cool" is a proper and highbrow way to describe one's love for bugs.)
The "biggest bug festival" sounds ginormous, truly. But while there will be many (many many) moths and butterflies and tarantulas and millipedes and scorpions and centipedes in the house, and many (many many) insect aficionados who want to admire and pet and buy and taste, you know that the bugs present represent just a fraction of the bugs that live on this planet.
You'd need to break out a whole mess of zeros for that mile-long number, to make a number big enough. Insects are, of course, are some of the most common denizens of Planet Earth. So that they get their diligent due each spring at the Natural History Museum feels right.
Strolling by bug cases is one popular to-do during the weekend, but you can also join a Caterpillar Hunt, step up for a Live Insect Meet & Greet, hear a butterfly scholar discuss all things wings, and see what the Bug Chefs are cooking up.
Oh, did you notice we said "taste" before? Yep, we dropped that in a little slyly. The sampling of bugs is one of the most buzzed-about activities at Bug Fair. So arrive with your adventurous appetite well-whetted.
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This flittable festival turns 30 in a year, and while that's impressive number, it is just a fraction of the time that many-legged creatures have called this hunk of rock home.
Having a wide scope when it comes to our buggy friends, of how many there are and how long they've been here and the good they do, is a positive thing. It can even re-stoke that fire of wonder we may have lost as kids, back when we'd chase any moth through the yard, just to see it up-close.