When the kids and I took this trip to our farm earlier this year, they began a mission to create some kind of natural history “exhibit.” It’s possible “exhibit” was one of their reading class “amazing words” and thus produced a keen interest in it’s meaning. I can’t really remember, but they set about scavenging the spring walks for items to include in the exhibit. They even scoped out a newly cleaned out (but ancient) barn to house the exhibit. I’m sure when we return to the property later this fall, more work will be done on the project, but meanwhile, their idea has been fermenting in my brain ever since.
I love the idea of exhibit specimens. Those random, but highly detailed objects that seem to catalog and document one thing or another. They are closely akin to collections, which I also love, and I’m sure they are the ultimate reflection of the truly obsessive pack-rat spirit.
Since I tend to have one of those obsessive pack-rat spirits, I seem to have acquired a huge trove of “specimens”. A recent weeding through of my parents’ attic confirmed that these pack-rat tendencies go way back. In fact, to this day, I firmly believe that anything created or acquired prior to 1980 should be kept as sacred. Further, my role as serial collector extends to all manner of ephemera found here and there.
Looking through my parents’ attic contents made me curious to look back through other boxes and shelves and bins to re-familiarize myself with things that have perpetually inspired me. I decided that a new series on Plop! would be fun — posts cataloging various specimens found through the collections or added as new inspiration emerges. I don’t know how the series will evolve — whether as random collections of items, like items or items centered on a theme. I’m still playing around with the photography and backgrounding, but you get the idea. I’m excited about revisiting past inspirations. I hope you enjoy it too!
This week’s specimens…
1. Oyster shell gathered from Long Beach, Mississippi
2. Buffalo wooden nickel — printed on back with “Southern Trailer Dist., Inc. – Recreational Vehicles Pas Road Biloxi”
I can’t be sure, but I believe it’s circa sometime in the early 1980s
3. The youngest baby deer in a 3-sibling set of porcelain figures
4. 39¢ Indian Corn U.S. stamp dated 2006
5. Blue Jay feather discovered this spring in our back yard
What do YOU collect? And, if you have any of these same treasures among your specimens, I hope you’ll let me know.