Recently a couple of friends called to tell me that there was a book reviewed on NPR I that I need to read. It’s about a boy who draws maps of his world. Of course, I ran out and bought  The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet right away. I love it. There are so many coincidences in the book, things that remind me of my childhood, ideas that I’ve had for map making, etc.  I find T. S. Spivet’s mother, Dr. Clair,  to be a very intriguing character. She is a coleopterist (entomologist who specializes in beetles) and has spent 20 years searching for the allusive tiger monk beetle. The other day I was thinking about her  as I was scanning a few  maps that I had made and wondering if I should even continue with this sketchbook. After all, T.S. Spivet had pretty much scooped me and published many of my ideas already….

Just then a huge, gargantuan, buzzing  beetle came in from my screened porch and was frantically richoceting off the walls, my monitor, my HEAD, the window…. Needless to say I beat a very hasty retreat out of my studio, slammed the door and ran down the stairs. I am no Dr. Clair. I did not re-enter my studio until the next day. I found the beetle, belly up on the floor. I scooped him up with a page from my circus calendar and proceeded to photograph him. The above photo shows the perceived size of said beetle (compare to tightrope walker) as well as the actual size (compare to key). Below is a map of the beetle’s crazy shaky journey around my head and my subsequent escape. Whew.


I am about a third of the way through The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet. I can’t wait to find out what will happen next….. it is fast becoming my Jumanji.

ps. To see the belly of the beetle beast, go to my flickr photos.  And while you are there check out the work of my friend GunnerGirl. She makes the most fabulous beetle drawings ever.


  1. henniemavis

    What you need are a few free range studio hens. Beetles are crunchy, munchy chicken snack food.

    Great photo & story, too!

  2. Fab photo, fantastic sketch. What a wonderful imagination. Now I have to go back and see where you live! I’ll give it a wide berth in my travels, if you have creatures like that wandering around – I grew up in the midwest of the States and have memories of beasts hitting the screens in the door, trying to get into the light at night.

  3. thank you for your input, peggy!

  4. Thank you all!

    HM… I do need some chickens! Unfortunately I have a family of fox that cut through my yard to get to the high school fields. And also high school kids that cut through my yard to get to the main street…might not be safe for chickens.

  5. hey peggy its been awhile so just thought id drop on by and say hello. Looks like you are well. and very nice post. Enjoy your day.

  6. I LOVE the photo collage of the beetle with the circus performer, Peggy! You are so incredibly talented!

  7. Thanks!!! While in Arizona I saw a HUGE elephant beetle. I’ll post a photo of it to flickr. It was unbelievably creepy big,.

  8. this photo is most excellent!
    surprising combination!
    poor little critter…..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s