So welcome to the 12th edition of An Inordinate Fondness, the monthly blog carnival devoted to beetles. In fact, it seems appropriate that we celebrate the most diverse taxa on earth today, as this particular carnival occurs on Martin Luther King’s birthday.
Ok, maybe that’s a stretch.
We can value Mr. King’s words as we marvel at the beauty of these wonderful little animals. Today is not meant to be a day to take off from work, but to be a day of service to the community. Why not head outside, and take some kids with you?
“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” ~MLK
And what is more uplifting than ART? Giant scarab sculpture, for example. Artist Dean Colls has more photos of his metal construction Alexander the Great on his portfolio website. He even took the time to consult with some entomologists and assign a genus–Anoplognathus.
I really like his statement about the inspiration for the sculpture:
“My sculpture Alexander the Great stands as an avatar for the unnoticed world at our feet and as a champion for that sense of wonder and exploration that is so easily lost. It reminds us that however great the empires of man may be, they are dwarfed by one that is far older and greater.” ~Dean Colls
Kate Sherrod contributes a Sonnet about forest pest insects at Suppertime Sonnets, and Elissa Malcohn presents a Poem about food insects posted at Chronicles from Hurricane Country. Either of those poems would convert into excellent songs, I think. (Just a hint to my musical friends)
From art and poetry we segue into FOOD:
Trish Wells has a lovely film of a Ladybird eating her colleagues at The Birds, the Bees and Feeding the World, and you can consume Bug Soup! posted at Insect Art. (Ok, those actually aren’t beetles for eating, but they are relaxing. Like soup.)
“Painstaking excellence” could describe what we all strive to achieve with TAXONOMY. Dave Hubble submitted his Diary of a beetle recording scheme, a description of something I know we’ve all struggled with–keying out a specimen.
On the theme of valuing individual variation:
“It may be argued that to know one kind of beetle is to know them all. But a species is not like a molecule in a cloud of molecules—it is a unique population.” ~EO Wilson
As a completely snowed in Michigander, I shake my fist at Alex’s PHOTOS of Florida Winter Butterflies at The Nemesis Bird. An unknown scarab larva was discovered someplace clearly warmer than where I am in Grub, posted at The Bug Whisperer. Things Biological is posting a series of summer photos to cheer us up in the middle of winter; including An abundance of fireflies. TGIQ is snowed in like me, but still managed to find a Winter beetle at Fall To Climb.
The next Inordinate Fondness will be held at The Dispersal of Darwin! It will be a Darwin edition and any beetle posts looking at history of science connected to beetles or naturalists who worked on beetles are encouraged.
I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from MLK:
“Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.”
What will you do today–and in 2011–to make the world a better place?
January is a good time for resolutions.