So, as some of my previous posts have shown/ as anyone who knows me already knows, I love natural history museums. Even with the thousands of screaming children that always seem to populate them, I think they are fantastic. And, as anyone who has ever been to a museum with me will know, I read every little plaque and constantly talk about wanting to touch things.

Well, last weekend, Matt and I went back to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh and this time the naturalist center was open. Oh man, was it exciting! The naturalist center is a room where -as long as you are older than 8- you can look at and touch preserved specimens of bugs, animals, some types of plants and fungi. Not to mention fossils and bones. This was our first time in, so we were both surprised (but thrilled) to learn that we could touch. I picked up almost every bird and was really tempted to climb into this huge wolf’s pelt (I totally understand now why they were used ceremonially). We had both brought along our sketchbooks, so we set up at a couple desks to draw our specimens.

This is my screech owl. She was preserved by having her skin/ feathers preserved and stuffed with cotton. My hand got really hot from holding her while I was drawing. During that time, this kid came up behind me to watch. He got embarrassed when I turned around and said hi, so he said, “Nice owl” and wandered off.


I still can’t believe what an amazing resource this is. And, it’s free.