I’ve returned from my brief trip through time to the Pleistocene–I mean, my birthday week hiatus! You’d be forgiven, though, if these photos did give you the impression that I’d popped back a few aeons.
I’m still yearning for those lovely mid-June days spent with the dearest companion, but I’m consoling myself by reliving our trip to a local natural history museum. These archaic bones and stone impressions comfort me: at least our time apart will be nothing more than the smallest blip on a geologic scale!
Nothing says “cute lifestyle blogger aesthetic” like a series of photos of open-mawed animatronic dinosaurs, right?
Last weekend, I took a road trip four states over for an important family event–that also included an obligatory stop at a certain Pennsylvania attraction that we’d been eyeing for years. It’s probably no secret that, like the eight-year-old I am at heart, I have a soft spot for all things saurian, and this outdoor jungle of prehistoric beasts sent me into a glorious state of raptor–I mean, rapture.
(Also, yes, in case you were wondering: I did indeed wear my dinosaur dress.)
Remember that amazing vintage science book for kids that I discovered at a library sale? Though I enjoyed exploring its well-worn pages, it was one of the most damaged books I’ve ever seen. The binding and cover had long gone the way of the dinosaurs, and I figured the time had come for its reincarnation.
That’s how my outgoing mail hopped back a few eons!
Some delicate book-surgery, lots of tape, and some stickers and handmade labels were all it took to help this dying relic evolve into something a little more sustainable. I would’ve slipped a small fossil from my collection into each envelope, except I’m pretty sure they’d far exceed the usual “Non-Machinable Surcharge” limitations…
The only thing better than a well-stocked used book sale is a well-stocked used book sale with a free bin. After buying my fair share of gorgeous volumes at a local like-new literary extravaganza this weekend, I stopped by a table of unwanted scraps and paperbacks, ready to glean to my heart’s content.
It’s appropriate that I had to basically excavate my way through the Burgess Shale of coffee-stained romance novels and old sheet music to find this incredible treasure: a natural history book for kids from 1942. As a girl who loves vintage children’s illustrations as much as she loves Tiktaalik, I am delighted by this rare opportunity to peek back a few decades–and aeons!
Like all five-year-old children (wait, you mean I’m not one anymore?) I possess a strong and strange appreciation for dinosaurs. Though I once dreamed of becoming a paleontologist (and an archaeologist, and all varieties of people who uncover the past), these days I’m quite content that my lot in life is to work inside air-conditioned museums rather than out in the field.
So consider this dinosaur dress a consolation prize for my inner child, the one who so very much wanted to study natural history. I might be an art historian now, but I’m not above a little bit of well-informed dinosaur fangirling. And how better to celebrate youth and prehistoric reptiles than with a day at the playground?
Because I work at an art museum, I find non-arts-based institutions–natural history and science museums, historic houses, museums of flight and technology–all the more exciting. It’s so much fun to explore the different ways in which objects and knowledge can be shared: whether you’re showing off a trilobite or a Titian, it’s still key to snag your audience’s attention and encourage them to look closely.
Plus, let’s be honest, I just love dinosaurs and space. Period. How could I pass up the opportunity, then, to visit DC’s Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and National Air and Space Museum?