One of my very favourite places in the whole world is London's Natural History Museum. It has been since I first visited when I travelled with my parents back to their 'Home' when I was about ten years old. As soon as I'd saved up enough after University I was back there. And I've been back twice again since with my children.
An added bonus when I go is to enjoy the detailed and somewhat fanciful architecture, inside and out.
But of course it's the collections I really love. There are over 70 million specimens at the NHM. And I can access a vast database online too, which is marvelous. They tell me, and I believe them, that there are also over 1 million books, 20,000 scientific journals, and 500,000 works of art. (A drawing or painting was the most convenient way of establishing the existence of a specie in the pre-camera days.)
I'd so love to be able to take the tube 'up' to London (it's always up to London, even if you're coming from the North - isn't that quaint?) and spend all day looking at the Coleoptera (beetles) drawers.
For some reason I've become interested especially in the weevils.
'Why?', you ask.
I think it's because they are small yet beautifully formed. And because I think their long, trunk-like 'noses' give them a slightly ridiculous but vulnerable air. I know they are much maligned because they are often eating food we have gathered for ourselves, and we are, rightfully, indignant. They are often overlooked in favour of some of the bigger, showier beetles, and I am somewhat of a champion of the underdog.
In fact, I think I'll just go virtually and look at weevils. Right now.
Here's where I am going to start. It's somewhere I've been before: Looking at Mark Ines Russell painting weevils at the NHM.
(This is not one of his paintings)
Attribution: Sorry. I've forgotten where I got this from.
If you took this image please contact me and I'll immediately give benefit where due.