Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Harvard Museum of Natural History

(for Wendy)

When you take the bus to Cambridge to visit the museum, do not get too sidetracked when walking through Harvard Yard-- either by your lack of direction or by the one shiny toe of the John Harvard statue.

You will want plenty of time to enjoy the specimens.  A few things to know:  Yes, all the glass flowers are really glass.  Please do not lean on the cases.  And, no, you are not the only one who is given pause by the sad gorilla in the corner.  He was tracked for days many years ago.  You'd be sad, too.

You may have gone to a state school at which you received an stellar education (ad astra per aspera!), but you will still appreciate that there is such a thing as a "Harvard Mastodon" with a suspicious history.  You will appreciate that there is such a thing as a narwhal.  And the bizarre and lonely animals that evolved in isolated South America:  Hello.