Visit to the Insectarium and the Riverfront, New Orleans

Thursday, August 6

Ashleigh and Jordan went with Brenda and Rod down to Canal Street to visit the Insectarium. Rod dropped them off and then parked near the Riverwalk.

Extravagant effort is made to give prominence to the insects here.

From the stone carvings on the walls to the overhead fan.

Elyse was fascinated as this knowledgable young lady told her the lore of the giant millipede and answered her questions about other millipedes. She cautioned against centipedes, which sometimes bite!

We browsed through the creatures on display, some common, some not.

They had a wonderful living display of leafcutter ants, which brought back fond memories of the ones we had seen in the Carara Biological Reserve of Costa Rica. We had also seen them on our last trip to the Insectarium.

It is always fascinating to see the almost endless variety of beetles, although I don't think the variety was quite as extravagant as on our last visit. Clockwise from top left, this arbitrary collection includes the lowly dung beetle. The dung beetle was very familiar to Rod growing up on the farm in Arkansas where the dung beetles were abundant in the piles of cow manure around the pasture. Rod and Philippe always thought it was funny to see the dung beetles rolling a ball of cow manure out of a pile. I liked the green and black beetle that looks armored. The gray beetles were zipping around on a sandy bottom. Then there was the huge beetle, big enough to dine on a banana. Then there is part of a display of shiny beetles, the kind we called "June bugs" in Arkansas.

Ashleigh and Elyse enjoyed exploring the large underground model, with an earthworm large enough for them to sit on it. I enjoyed seeing how much they had grown since the last time we explored this underground world six years ago.

Elyse enjoyed the Volkswagen " Love Bug" that they played in before.

Of course we had to visit the "Bug Buffet" where they serve snacks containing actual edible bugs!

Elyse takes a picture of a selection of snacks which are clearly made from bugs - worms and crickets.

Grandma, are you really eating a bug?!

Well, maybe a cute little cricket, on a cookie?? I don't know.

We watched the lady roll out tiny balls of dough for making the small cricket cookies.

We went back into beetle land, and the variety and brilliance of the patterns on the beetles was amazing. No wonder they use them to make decorative patterns.

This is a section of one of their attractive combination displays, using butterflies and beetles.

Some of the beetles were just hard to believe. To develop such patterns and varieties is amazing.

I just use this as an example of the many exotic and beautiful butterflies on display. It was a great experience of beauty.

New Orleans Riverfront

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