As a an illustrator and artist, my IMAGINATION often runs amok! And this time, with the aid of my cheap microscope and pond water, my imagination certainly ran a-muck and stayed there.
|Cyclops, and worms and larva OH MY!|
Water Monsters! What a great way for kids to learn about microinvertebrates...and also an important lesson about NOT to drink pond water. YIKES! I could not even begin to count all these hairy, wiggly, swimming, twirling, darting and dashing creatures that lived in my cup of pond water. More than once I had to make sure that my coffee cup was not at hand and mistake my portable "Monstarium" (A McDonald's yogurt cup used as an aquarium) for my beverage. Despite these creature's grossness and ickiness, they are necessary and important to the health of our vernal ponds, marshes and lakes.
With my Mad Scientist Laboratory up and running I used my pink plastic dropper to place the squirming fellows onto a slide to sketch them. Ah, high school Microbiology I all over again! After every "visiting" session under the 40x objective I returned the creatures to their watery nursery. One day after the Monstarium had been in the sun, I spied a "wiggler" (mosquito larva) hopping about underwater. My little Frankenstein monster seemed happy in his home. It was after I added moss to the cup that things got kicking (Moss is the fave food and habitat for "water bears", a creature I have been hunting for over a year.) The "wiggler" got bigger and more tiny water bugs danced about.
Now, any monster that can breathe out of its butt has my vote. Especially when it transforms into a flying, blood-sucking creature feared by many and is an annoyance to all. I must say, that when I went back to the Monstarium a few days later to check on my creature it had hatched. I opened the lid and out it flew--the wiggler was now a full-grown mosquito--and out of its watery nursery. Oops! Wait til the rest of my Bear Track laboratory pals catch my hatchling buzzing their noggins at night. Now THAT'S scary.
With that experiment over I decided to put away the microscope and sketch my new pet crested gecko, "Peaches". The crested gecko was thought to have been extinct until recently. It was discovered in 1994 on the island Caledonia and has come back with such gusto that they are up on the pet trade market. This amazing reptilian acrobat has a prehensile tail like our opossum and is arboreal--and has cute "eyelashes".
As a cold-blooded, cricket-eating tree climber that eats its own skin, I say you could not ask for a better dragon/monster model. What a great model. (It does look kinda like a reptilian Chihuahua.)
But for now I will continue my "water bear" search and sketch creatures big and small for creepy characters.