Thursday, 19 May 2016

National Insect Week - Benches Bite Back!


National Insect Week only happens every two years so this year there is no June 20-26th. Well, there was, but it wasn't National Insect Week. This year it is.  

So now the Insect Benches are going to bite back. They're going to spread their wings and fly.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/bontempscharly/8963532417/


Already there's a buzz going round about Insect Week 2018.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/thechristinejolly/7767283630/


Here on Paradise Island it's been a hive of activity getting the insect benches ready.

http://www.amazon.com/Dollhouse-Miniature-Beehive-on-Bench


There are loads of elegant butterfly benches . . . 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/liopic/6234755874/


. . . just waiting to emerge from their crysallis.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/dakiny/9493025112/


Eddie, my Inner Editor, who just happens to be a primate: Two things. One: I think you'll find the plural of crysallis is crysalli. And two, this is a caterpillar, not a crysallis.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikecogh/8706205547/

Oh, don't be so pedantic, Eddie. 

I've been hopping around for weeks gathering insect benches.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rswatski/6792953917/


Eddie: Well, a picture of me wouldn't go amiss.



No, we're going to stick with Insect Week. 




https://www.flickr.com/photos/42389547@N00/10137786003/

Eddie: Some people don't like insects you know. It will put them off this blog.

I know. When it comes to creepy crawlies, some people are Much Afraid.

from The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan, 1683

How about you, Eddie? Are you ok with insects?

Grasshoppers make me jumpy.


© Copyright N Chadwick and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Some people really hate spiders. For good reason, of course. They can be dangerous.

http://www.boisedailyphoto.com/ 

Eddie: You're spinning a web of deceit here, Seashell. Most spiders are not dangerous. 

Nor are grasshoppers.



Eddie: Do the words plague and locusts mean anything to you?


https://www.flickr.com/photos/sludgeulper/5255139153/


Colonel Maize gets really cross when insects nibble his cobs.




Eddie: A lot of people find mosquitos repellent. 


www.omcdesign.com


There's no point in being waspish about insects.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/dippy_duck/6078145266/

Though I can see why Lord Brassica hates wasps. They ruin picnics.

And you know how Lord Brassica loves a picnic. 

www.etsy.com/shop/abasketof

Yes, he has a good chemistry with picnic benches.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/larrywfu/2027115602

What about the wasps though? 

Lord B has a special way of dealing with the wasp problem. Unwin, his long-suffering butler, stands with jam on his head to lure them away from the picnic. 


www.liveauctioneers.com

They say raspberry jam works best.  

Jiminy! This just isn't cricket.


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tooting_Bec

Wrong kind of cricket here, Eddie. 

OK, ok. 



http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jiminy_Cricket

We need to stop bumbling around here and get on with the insect benches. I've got swarms of them to show you. 

Here's one from Paris.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/laviniacm/3548815196/

I suppose you've combed the internet looking for bee benches? 

Yes, this bench is a honey.

www.omcdesign.com


Eddie: Sad animal fact: If bees earned minimum wage, a jar of honey would cost almost $182,000.

How do you work that one out?

Eddie: Well, a honeybee needs to do 25,000 hours of labour to fill a 500 gram jar of honey. If minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, those 25,000 hours come out to $181,250. 

Wow, that makes my jar of honey a rather good deal. 

Speaking of honey, my best imaginary friend Miggy found herself an interesting boyfriend last summer in Slovenia.





Are backpacks made of wood in Slovenia? 

No, it's a frame of bees. Slovenians are keen apiarists. That's beekeepers to you and me.

Why do they keep bees?

For the fur I think.

Bees are fine musicians. A friend of mine plays Flight of the Bumblebee with real panache.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/unaturalinspiration


Wow, I didn't know there were Bee Musicians. 

They keep their concert halls well hidden.

Yes, that's what people don't like about them. They're so small that you don't know where they are.

https://nuxx.net/blog/2014/09/06/ground-bees-and-bench

I would never welcome a swarm of bees.

Some people do though.





I'm going to call these people straightaway and get them to rehome all the bees on Paradise Island somewhere else.

Golly, Eddie. You really don't like bees. 

I don't care for dung beetles either.

http://www.thecarvedtree.co.uk/


Really? What's wrong with dung beetles?

Dung. 

Beetles are ok though. 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/woolamaloo_gazette/15108063093/

Have you ever seen a Dung Beatle?

Yes, in a Norwegian Wood. 

It's strange about insects. Our local girls April and May love bees but their sister hates them.



June prefers junebugs.


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/c/c5/Junebug

Eddie: I play poker with a group of bees.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/unaturalinspiration


That must be the bees knees! What happens when there's a full hive house?

Not funny.

Golly, Eddie, I never figured you for a card shark.

Yes, on Saturday nights I go for the sting. 

https://www.etsy.com/shop/unaturalinspiration

Wow, Eddie. You look amazing.

I'll tell you what annoys me about insects: Lady birds.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/kbaxter225

What could you possibly dislike about ladybirds?

The Bird bit. These are not birds. 

Everyone knows that. According to the Royal Entomological Society they're one of the 24,000 species of insect in the UK. And they do fly.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/kbaxter225


Remember Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home . . . 

But they're not birds.  

You can call them Ladybugs if you like. 

Did they call the President's wife Lady Bug Johnson?

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Lady_Bird_Johnson

No, but you can see that she's standing in a field of wildflowers, which bees love.

Did Lady Bird Johnson have a throne?


https://www.flickr.com/photos/hbarrison/6160899696/


I don't know. Why would she?

As First Lady of the United States she was Queen Bee. 


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bees_Queen

This doesn't look like an American stamp. Where's it from?

Answers on a postcard. 

You're just being annoying now, Eddie. Back to insects please. They're so intelligent! 

I knew a bee who did a pollen count. It was a tough job because he had hayfever. One sneeze and he had to start the count all over again.

Have you ever seen a spelling bee?

I have. It was a difficult word and the bee spelled it perfectly.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/neilt/540236528/

Wow, that's really impressive. 

Have you ever seen a fire fly?

No, but I've seen an artist with his hair on fire.


my photograph of painting by Rein Pol

Don't try this at home.

I've heard that fireflies are not too bright. 

Well, at least they fly. That's more than can be said for some insects.

Oh, no, not the flying thing again. 

Butter doesn't fly, does it?
https://www.flickr.com/photos/turnstonefurniture/5616469477


That's a butter bench, Eddie. It doesn't fly. 

Nor does a butterfly bench. 

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/kbaxter225


No, but a butterfly flies. What's your problem?

A butterfly flutters

And another thing that bugs me about insects: does a dragon fly? 


No, it does not.

www.cottageandbungalow.com


This one doesn't but that's only because it's a bench. 

A dragon does not fly. Bench or no bench.


http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/wikipedysta:Wojtekskaiski


It's true. Most dragonfly benches are grounded. 

photo by Joanna Michalak


My point exactly. When you come right down to it, only a fly flies.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/24931020@N02/10516459066/


Did you know that flies are very important in forensic science? In suspicious cases they're used to detect the length of time a person has been dead because you can tell by the stages of maggots and . . .


from Val McDermod's Forensics The Anatomy of Crime

Stop! Stop! I don't want to hear it!

Don't get ants in your pants, Eddie. You're getting hysterical.



Just sit down quietly and take a deep breath.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/barnaby_s/2775572458/


OK, not here though. 

I'm starting to feel really nervous. 

What's preying on your mind, Eddie? Is it a preying mantis?


https://www.flickr.com/photos/wanderingnome/372669844/in/photolist


It's the feeling I get when someone mentions the word circus. 




I don't suppose a flea circus would bother you though?

Depends on the flea.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlmhmd/8615768117/in/dateposted/

Ewwwwwww, I knew it! 

This insect story is like a preying mantis.

www.etsy.com/shop/dragonwooddesigns


How so?

Well, it looks innocent enough but next thing you know, it preys on you and you haven't got a leg to stand on. 

Wrong, Eddie. Here are a hundred legs to stand on. A centipede.

www.louishenri.com


And here are a thousand legs to stand on. A milipede.

http://www.behance.net/aleksandrd

Some of them are even wearing shoes.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/nearly-normal/albums

I'm getting really worried now. I don't like this insect story. I told you it would upset people.


That's why I've chosen very carefully. 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/studiobeerhorst/5327066108/


I'm not doing creepy crawlies. I'm only showing the prettiest and most interesting designs of insect-inspired benches.

I could wax lyrical about this beehive bench.


http://jphwoodworks.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=161 

And what about this fabulous stick insect walking?



http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stick_insect_walking


I wish you'd just stick insect with benches. 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/25802865@N08/9730186050/

This isn't a stick insect and you know it.

It's in my comfort zone though. 

OK, fair enough. 

But take a leaf out of my book, Eddie. If you're scared of insects, a pretty little ladybird is the least of your problems.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/lirena/4699566939/

You're right, Seashell. Insects aren't something to worry about. They're actually quite cuddly.

Good. Now, it's getting late. I've got you a room in this hotel in Germany.





Insecktenhotel! No thanks! 

This is an insect hotel. It's all I could find. Good night, Eddie. 

Sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite. 


https://www.flickr.com/photos/afpmb/4604307550/

Credits

National Insect Week is June 20-26, 2018. Every two years the Royal Entomological Society organises the week, supported by a large number of partner organisations with interests in the science, natural history and conservation of insects. Over one million species of insects have been described and named worldwide. There are insects in almost every habitat. They can be pollinators, predators, pests, parasites and prey and their study is an important part of conservation, food production, medicine and ecology. Not to mention forensics, as I tried to explain before I upset Eddie. 

The little girl spreading her wings on a butterfly bench was photographed by Charles Barilleaux, aka bontempscharly. He has another name too: Mr. Guilt. Whatever you want to call him, he's a husband, cyclist, father, geek, baker, IT professional, and starting to add photography to his habits. The butterfly girl was photographed back in June 2013  https://www.flickr.com/photos/bontempscharly/8963532417/

Christine Jolly is Captain Crochet. She's one of those guerilla knitters who does yarnbombing in public places. In 2012 her crochet bees appeared all over the town of Bridgnorth in Shropshire. They adorned fences, railings and, of course, benches. Jolly little things they were too! Fortunately, Mothew was there to photograph them. https://www.flickr.com/photos/thechristinejolly/7767283630/ For more woolly warm benches see http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/woolly-warm-autumn-benches.html

The beehive on a bench is a 1/12 scale dolls house beehive by Sir Thomas Thumb. It costs $22 and when I last looked, there were only four left in stock. http://www.amazon.com/Dollhouse-Miniature-Beehive-on-Bench/dp/B00E1S91N4  By the way, it's National Honey Month in September and there's a lot going on.


The beautiful yellow and black butterfly bench was photographed in 2011 Coyoacan, DF. That's Mexico City to you and me. The photographer is Julio Martinez, a web developer from Alicante in Spain who currently lives in Seoul.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/liopic/6234755874/  And if you'd like to see a fiesta of fabuloso benches from Mexico City, click here  http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/a-fiesta-of-mexican-benches.html


The green caterpillar is apparently an Asian swallowtail, found in the hut of a field in Yokohama by Toshihiro Gamo. https://www.flickr.com/photos/dakiny/9493025112/  Toshihiro is a web developer, marketing director, illustrator and photographer from Yokohama. 

The caterpillar bench on the seafront was photographed by Mike Coghlan who lives in Adelaide  https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikecogh/8706205547/
He saw it in North Cairns in Queensland in 2013. Mike has one of the most comprehensive collections of bench photos that I've seen anywhere. Fortunately for me, he has been very generous about letting me show them here on Benchsite.

The grasshopper 7-10 bench is called Hopping Conductor and is apparently on a train in Pennsylvania. It was photographed by Rob Swatski back in 2010.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/rswatski/6792953917/  

Eddie is my Inner Editor, who just happens to be a primate. If you've seen much of Benchsite you will know what a problem Eddie is for me. He has ruined helped me edit the post about my swimming bench and the Blue Monday benches.  He interfered with stepped in to help with the Orange bench mystery. However, he has a habit of setting his own agenda with the benches. Look what a mess he made great job he did on St. George's Day . And as for my Red benches in February? No wonder I was very grateful seeing red. I had a bit of a break from him last year but now he's back and his primate pictures are in danger of overwhelming my stories.

The stick insect was on a bench at Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge in NE Texas back in 2013. It was a bench along a hiking trail, photographed by Tom Spinker, who lives in Valdosta, Georgia. Warning if you're going to his photostream: he also photographs snakes.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/42389547@N00/10137786003/


Much Afraid is a character from The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan, 1683. The daughter of Mr. Despondency, Much Afraid and her father were imprisoned in Doubting Castle by the tyrant Giant Despair.  Released from the castle, Much Afraid danced in the road and apparently she answered the music handsomely.

The first Grasshopper Bench is at Leybourne Lakes Country Park near Tonbridge in the UK. Developed from former gravel workings, the park is dominated by a series of lakes and flower rich grasslands that offer both quiet recreation for visitors and a valued sanctuary for a variety of wildlife. The 93 hectare (230 acre) Country Park has spectacular viewsacross its many lakes and out to the North Downs. It has been awarded the Green Flag award every year since 2007.  It was photographed here by N Chadwick for Geograph.  
http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2501729 © Copyright N Chadwick and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


Some of the insect benches have appeared on Benchsite before. Old Noah dates from biblical times and has a history of saving animal benches. Here in Fribble he saved all our animal benches for World Animals Day. There are all the favourite animals, of course - tigers, camels, pandas, giraffe - but Noah also managed to get some lesser loved creatures - wombats, even a preying mantis - onto the ark. 

The intricate spiderweb bench featured as a Boise Daily Photo back in September 2008. It's from Debbie Courson Smith, the Boise Diva, who posts pictures at  http://www.boisedailyphoto.com/  As it happens, this bench was not for Halloween, it was in front of a tattoo shop, but it featured in the Benchsite Halloween story back in 2013. Oh goodness, what a frightening lot of benches you'll find there. Go on, have a look - I dare you.

Sir Grasshopper is one of four images I have used from the wonderful uNatural etsy shop uNaturalinspiration  https://www.etsy.com/shop/unaturalinspiration  This stuff is truly inspirational, even when it comes to insects. Piano playing bees? Poker playing bees? They've got it. And best of all, I think, the swaggering chimp who looks like he's just come out of a backroom game of Craps with Paul Newman and Robert Redford. I saw this and thought The Sting, best film of 1973.  And of course I thought of Eddie. The Chimp is a Geekery art poster, an original drawing by Spiderman Jonah Jameson
https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/224751282/40-off-cyber-sale-chimpanzee-art-print?ref=shop_home_active_23


The mosaic grasshopper bench is at the Essex Filter beds in Leyton, London. The bench was made to celebrate the start of the Cultural Olympiad September 2008, the start of a Four Year Arts Programme starting September 2008 and culminating in the 2012 Olympic Games nearby. The photographer is Sludgeulper  at https://www.flickr.com/photos/sludgeulper/5255139153/

Colonel Maize is a sweet corn little fellow who created some corny nice benches for autumn. Every fall he gets his cobs out and roasts them. And there are more than enough difficulties involved in log benches this time of year. 

The brilliant Mosquito bench comes from designer Onar Cobanli in Como, Italy. He also did the golden Honey benches. Born in Istanbul in 1984, Onar studied design in Italy and got a PhD for his research into design competitions. He has featured in many magazines, including Milano Mod in April 2012 (that's him on the cover).  Onar Cobanli's company is www.omcdesign.com, which has the most amazing range of products I've seen, including more than 100 benches. And chaise lounges. And sofas. And chairs. Don't get me started on chairs. For some very tasty Italian benches see 
http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/tasty-italian-benches.html


Bench Wisdom about wasp nests is by Matt, who is a number cruncher for non-profit from Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Matt found the wasp message at College Hill bus stop in Providence, Rhode Island in 2011. Cats, graves, Providence, Attleboro, stuffies, food. Kaleidoscopes, filters, photo art - these are a few of Matt's favorite things. https://www.flickr.com/photos/dippy_duck/6078145266/

Lord Brassica, Fifth Earl of Drizzly, is a gentleman farmer here on Paradise Island. He loves his horse Tonks, his dog Pru,and his 1947 Landrover, in that order. He indulges his wife, Lady Jessica Brassica with a replica mall in the basement of Drizzly Manor, a beach hut on the Esplanade, and unlimited amounts of cash for shopping. However, it has emerged that he doesn't know as much as you'd think about farm animal benches, especially cow benches or sheep benches. He knows a bit more about horse benches, learned from his horse Tonks, and possibly something about dog benches from his dog 

The three beautiful picnic baskets look like they might have come from Harrods for Lord Brassica's picnic, however they are from Lucy and Gillian in Tunbridge Wells. www.etsy.com/shop/abasketof   Lucy and Gillian make exquisite miniatures of dolls house food and table settings, all of them fit for a Lord. Any one of them would make a terrific picnic. 

In 2003, two Wake Forest University students, Nazila Alimohammadi and Anna Clark, built a picnic table in the shape of the periodic table of elements. It was created as a sculpture for a public art course. An aspiring dentist, Alimohammadi had taken several chemistry classes and suggested working with that department. She did the structural steel work and Clark hand-painted the surface tiles. Apparently the table is accurate in every detail, right down to the auxiliary lanthanides and actinides tables that constitute the table's bench. The table is located, er, right by the Chemistry building at Wake Forest University. It was photographed in 2007 by Larry, who lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/larrywfu/2027115602


The cricket bench is outside the Tesco Express in Tooting Bec in South London. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tooting_Bec4_-_London_2012.jpg  It was photographed by Daniele Pugliesi in 2012. The only thing is, it's the wrong kind of cricket for this story. We're wanting Jimmy Cricket but even if you wish upon a star, you won't find a Jimmy Cricket bench. Believe me, I've tried. 

Jiminy Cricket is a character from Walt Disney's 1940 film Pinocchio. This picture is a trailer for the film and films released before 1964 are in the public domain. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jiminy_Cricket.png?uselang=en-gb

The Parisian osoabeja is from Lavinia at https://www.flickr.com/photos/laviniacm/3548815196/  Lavinia lives in Salta, Argentina and she's a very crafty person. She likes sewing, quilting, amigurumi, plushies, embroidery, cross stitching, and bookbinding. She also makes dreamcatchers and hand carved rubber stamps and collects rubber erasers, buttons, ribbons, miniatures. She loves Japanese craft magazines and anything handmade - cotton fabrics, Japanese fabric (kawaii), tiny buttons, cotton fabric with small prints, felt, polymer clay, miniatures (like Re-Ment), stationery, ink pads. Her Etsy shop is at https://www.etsy.com/shop/Laviniacm 

Eddie's fact about the real cost of honey is from the brilliant little book Sad Animal Facts by Brooke Barker (2016 Flatiron Books). The book is full of sweet little drawings and amazing facts about animals. 

Last summer Miggy and Mungo and I went to Slovenia looking for benches. As usual, Miggy wasted a lot of time trying to find herself a man. Eventually she met a very nice beekeeper, who had a job in the Apiculture Museum at Radovlijica. He wasn't exactly a Worker: all he had to do was pose with a beekeeper's pack on his back. Migs droned on and on about him but as with all her holiday romances, she was the one who got stung. The museum is a honey though.


I found the bee arrow pointing to bees on a blog from September 2014. https://nuxx.net/blog/2014/09/06/ground-bees-and-bench-cutting/comment-page-1/#comment-123261
It's the personal website of Steve Vigneau, who claims to be making, baking and (un)breaking things in southeast Michigan. I left a message on Steve's blog saying that I'm using the picture. It will be useful for locating bees should you find yourself in southeast Michigan. 

Quarr Abbey is a lovely Benedictine monastery on the Isle of Wight. They're getting their act together to teach people about apiary. And they've also got a huge amount of lovely benches recycled from fallen trees.  

Paul Sivell makes intriguing chainsaw sculptures and is inspired by nature, local traditions, and mythology. His distinctive style is well known around the Isle of Wight though he also works throughout the UK and abroad. The dung beetle bench is one of his many functional sculptures (benches!) from http://www.thecarvedtree.co.uk/


The John Lennon bench is sponsored by the Edinburgh Beatles Appreciation Society. It's in Princes Street Gardens right in the heart of the city. The photograph is by byronv2, who is a 40-something bookseller and blogger living in Edinburgh, Scotland. He has a blog at The Woolamaloo Gazette:  www.woolamaloo.org.uk and a Flickr photostream at https://www.flickr.com/photos/woolamaloo_gazette/15108063093/

April, age six, lives here in Fribble-under-Par with her parallel selves, May and June. The girls always turn up together to community events and are among the very few children here on Paradise Island. April and May are fond of bees, but June hates them. She prefers junebugs. And they all like bunny benches, of course. Who doesn't? 

Junebug is a 2005 American film for which Amy Adams was nominated as best supporting actress. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/c/c5/Junebug

The pretty pink ladybird bench and the other bench with multi-coloured butterflies are both from Kim Baxter, who lives in Manchester, New Hampshire. She also did the stool with four red ladybugs. Her shop is at https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/kbaxter225  KBW & Co. make an assortment of hand crafted items, including wooden stools which are sturdy and strong. Kim loves painting on wood so most of the signs and stools have been made by her husband and herself by recycling old pallet wood. 

By the way, you might want to know that the ten spot ladybird has between zero and 15 spots (not necessarily ten). 


Lady Bird Johnson (1912-2007) was the wife of president Lyndon B Johnson, and First Lady of the United States from 1963-1969. The painting of Lady Bird in a field of wildflowers at the LBJ Ranch is from the National Archives and Records Administration, painted from life on April 19th through 29th, 1978 at the Lyndon B Johnson Library and Museum in Texas. The artist is Aaron Shikler.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Lady_Bird_Johnson#/media/File:Lady_Bird_Johnson_portrait_by_Shikler,_1978.jpg


The queen bee throne was photographed in 2011 at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania by Harvey Barrison. Harvey is from Massapequa, New York 
He travels extensively and never leaves home without his Nikon. His point of view is realism; he wants to show you what he sees through the lens, the diversity of cultures and the wonders of nature.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/hbarrison/6160899696/

The queen bee is on a stamp from the Ukraine in 2001. I love it. It's one of those things you find whilst browsing for benches on Wikimedia Commons Images. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bees_Queen_on_stamp_of_Ukraine_2001.jpg?uselang=en-gb

The pollen count bee joke was one I heard from Milton Jones. The bees-for-fur joke is by Harry Hill. Both comedians do terrific one/two liners. 

The famous station sign at Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is in Angelsey in Wales. Are you expected to say Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch every time you refer to the town? No, you are not. You can just call it Llanfair PG. This 2007 photo is by Neil Turner, who works at a university in West Yorkshire. He has a big camera and a desire to walk in the country side. https://www.flickr.com/photos/neilt/540236528/ 


On our trip in summer 2015 we were fortunate enough to see an exhibition in Groningen which featured the work of the brilliant Dutch artist Rein Pol. He has a thing about trains, and also about drums. He does a lot of self portraits and he's no stranger to fire, so maybe it's not surprising to see this self portrait called Losing My Hair. He's an intriguing artist and generous in discussing his work. http://www.reinpol.nl

The bench I call the Butter Bench is actually called the Alight Bench. But doesn't it look like butter to you? It's by Turnstone Furniture (2011) and comes in many different colours and patterns, some of which don't look so much like butter  https://www.flickr.com/photos/turnstonefurniture/5616469477  Turnstone is inspired by getting people to use space so that they engage with each other, think more deeply, and do great things. They make all kinds of seating and office furniture. Let Lord Brassica show you the creme de la creme of bovine/butter benches


The pretty dragonfly bench is by Cottage and Bungalow and costs $2,260. It's at www.cottageandbungalow.com a small store which offers personal one-to-one service in furniture, quality home furnishings and accessories. Their coastal home products make you want to go out and live on the beach. As for animal benches, they do a stunning blue peacock, a dolphin, and the pretty dragonfly shown here.

The silver dragon bench is in Poland, that's all I know. But no thanks to Eddie, there are some superb dragon benches for St. George's Day at http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/monkey-business-on-st-georges-day.html

The wooden dragonfly bench was photographed by Joanna Michalak on Christmas Day 2014 when we took a walk beside the river Wey near Guildford. 

In his album Words, Ozzy Delaney spells out words using, um, the stuff that the word is about. So, the word Orange is made from slices of carrot. Fire, cheese, popcorn, toothpaste, nuts and bolts, and guess what flies do? They fly, to a point and then, well, they fall into a pattern that spells out Fly. https://www.flickr.com/photos/24931020@N02/10516459066/in/album-72157632906852850/

The page about forensic entomology is from Val McDermid's fascinating book Forensics The Anatomy of Crime (The Wellcome Trust 2014). Val is a fabulous writer, best known for her crime novels. And weirdly, many pages in this lively non-fiction account have little flies on them which I kept trying to brush off as I read. 

Last summer Miggy and Mungo and I found ourselves in Switzerland where we got high on alpine benches. In the mountains of the Lower Engadine is a national park, founded in 1914, which is the oldest in the Alps. There we saw some gigantic Swiss ants in a sculpture park. We followed the tracks through the forest for hours, enjoying strange and wonderful creations amongst the trees. People, animals, airplanes, computers - everything was made of wood, including the ants. 


The Ants in Your Pants sign on a bench was at the 2008 Elder Stubbs Festival in Oxford. The photographer is barnaby_  whose albums are full of festivals, parties, friends, animals, and travel.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/barnaby_s/2775572458/

In The Attack of the Monster photo the monster is pulex irritans, also known as the giant flea. It's a slide from the St. Elizabeths magic lantern slide collection which dates from 1855. The image comes from the wonderful Library of Medicine at https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlmhmd/8615768117/in/dateposted/

The preying mantis under a bench is a lovely photo by Aleta Rodriquez, who lives in Ventura, California. Her photostream is at https://www.flickr.com/photos/wanderingnome/372669844/in/photolist-bYaAYU-6hZaQh-5fnrph-5wP8SX-buJygW-ahXyy4-8yiSBd-LUg61-5wTw9u-9N8f3q-6QfvZ3-5wT57m-f7PNS2-aEESuf-7VRNuW-96AgT-6QbqTZ-4TsTBZ-cTnaBy-yW2L9-86vjuK-f84ZrY-8sdCTN-5wNGMg-6xmXBD-7VNvYn-bZrnFW-erhye-5wNJVp-bnpDrc-5wPaTD-DxBNh-f7PN8R-5wPa2p-y21fwP-2pVe3H-5wP95Z-6zEUNA-5wT7AA-5wT7q9-5wT775-4Gd1dS-7VNt5V-5PE8Gf-o8wwto-cKF95W-8viarH-8vi9jK-dNqqV-2kBr

The preying mantis bench is one of the few insect benches, along with the butterfly and the Shongololo, to make it onto Noah's Ark.The praying mantis bench is from Dragonwood Designs in Pennsylvania. www.etsy.com/shop/dragonwooddesigns
Dragonwood's owner is a professional cabinetmaker/woodworker who designs and makes unique and beautiful furniture and objets d'art from woods such as honduras mahogany, walnut, bubinga, hard maple and German beech. I try to provide an eclectic mixture of meticulously crafted furniture with useful items integrating natural aspects of the materials with which I work. I strive to create the sublime as well as the mundane, furniture and objects which are unique designs and not available anywhere else. That has certainly been achieved with the praying mantis bench.

Louis Henri's Shongololo bench is inspired by his African roots; shongololo is the Zulu word used for centipedes and millipedes. The Shongololo bench has 56 hand-turned walnut legs. Louis Henri B├╝hrmann grew up in South Africa in a family of designers and innovators. He now resides in London where he produces opulent interiors and distinctive designs at his own business www.louishenri.com  Louis' Twitter is at  www.twitter.com/louishenrii

 The Millipede Bench is from Lithuanian designer Aleksandr Dubickij in Vilnius.  http://www.behance.net/aleksandrd  He works through the Behance creative groups at  http://www.behance.net/gallery/6233205/millipede-bench  For more European designer benches, one from each EU country, see http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/united-in-diversity-28-benches-for.html

The centipede bench wearing shoes is a wonderful photo from Shashank Tripathi, who is a global vagabond based in Singapore. Shanx doesn't do photoshopping or other trickery; he takes pictures straight out of the camera, as the Lord intended. He has albums of fantastic photos from all over the world. https://www.flickr.com/photos/nearly-normal/albums

The three girls with a butterfly book is an oil painting from Studio Beerhorst, which was a work in progress back in 2010. It is an oil painting on a cradled wooden panel about 14" across. Rick and Brenda Beerhorst are artists and encourage others to be creative. They have six kids, they Unschool, and everyone in the family makes unique and wonderful things which you can see on their photostream or at Rick and Brenda's etsy shops. https://www.flickr.com/photos/studiobeerhorst/5327066108/


The beautifully crafted Beehive Bench is a wood work from Joe Hoskins at JPH Woodworks in Charlottesville, Virginia  http://jphwoodworks.com/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=161  Joe's designs are firmly rooted in traditional furniture forms and construction methods, but they also exhibit a modernist sensibility. He likes to incorporate the unexpected, experimenting with materials and methods to generate a sense of playfulness while maintaining the compositional nature of the piece. My goal is to unite the traditional with the modern in a functional and exciting piece. The Beehive Bench is made of white pine, mahogany and aluminium. 

The stick insect walking is a brilliant thing. I found it on Wikimedia and the name Ebaychatter0, from back in 2012. I wonder if it has been walking all this time. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stick_insect_walking.gif?uselang=en-gb


Choo Yut Shing lives in Singapore and takes photos of interesting benches which keep appearing here on Benchsite. This one is Flower Field, a wooden tree sculpture bench where lanterns decorated the Flower Field, Flow Dome, Gardens by the Bay for the Mid-Autumn Festival in 2013. https://www.flickr.com/photos/25802865@N08/9730186050/

The  bench with a ladybird on a leaf is called Rex the Broccolo Bug, named for the artist, Albert Broccolo. This is one of the many Parade of Benches in Rochester, New York, beautifully photographed by Liren Chen. The bench is sponsored by Broccolo Tree and Lawn Care and is located at the Rochester Science Centre. https://www.flickr.com/photos/lirena/4699566939/

This Insecktenhotel was at the Sonnenweisse Camp in Vlotho, Germany where we stayed very recently. This campsite has one of the poshest loo blocks I have ever seen, and I've seen many. If you happen to be interested in toilets, check out my short history of toilet benches at 
http://benchsite.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/a-short-history-of-toilet-benches.html

The not-so-cuddly bed bug is from the US Armed Forces Pest Management Board, which recommends policy, provides guidance, and coordinates the exchange of information on all matters related to pest management throughout the Department of Defense. Its mission is to ensure that environmentally sound and effective programs are present to prevent pests and disease vectors from adversely affecting Department of Defense operations. https://www.flickr.com/photos/afpmb/4604307550/ The 2006 photo of a bed bug nymph feeding is courtesy of Piotr Naskrecki at Harvard University.  Should you find yourself unable to sleep some night, additional bed bug images can be found at the Harvard Bed Bug Information Web Site @ www.uos.harvard.edu/ehs/pes_bedbug.shtml

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