The Father of American Taxidermy Tackles the World’s Largest Elephant

Jumbo the Elephant is DEAD!!! Struck by a train! Ringling Brothers is wringing its hands! A star attraction is gone! But wait! Not forever! P.T. Barnum, who’d made $1.5 million in the first year after he bought Jumbo for $10,000 from the London Zoo, never missed a beat. A dead elephant could be exhibited justContinue reading “The Father of American Taxidermy Tackles the World’s Largest Elephant”

God is in the Details, Even in Taxidermy

It’s critical in taxidermy that every detail be exactly right. It takes years of study and a huge commitment to craft to be a great taxidermist. The slightest off-note will send people running from — worst of all, laughing at – your work. Unless, of course, if you’re into the whimsy of what Robert MarburyContinue reading “God is in the Details, Even in Taxidermy”

Is it Real? It Sure Looks It!

Bernadette’s in a tizzy. There’s a speck of dust on the spotted fawn’s eyeball! She notices another bit of dust on the roebuck. “Good God!” She curses. “How did that get in the case? I just cleaned!” She may sound like your average housewife, but she isn’t. When she goes home each day from herContinue reading “Is it Real? It Sure Looks It!”

The Maiden and the Lynx

After 20 years, Flag Acres Zoo in Hoosick, NY closed its doors in 2008. Bernie Hoffman, now Museum Educator with the Pember Museum in Granville, NY, was the keeper. Not your ordinary pet shelter. There were lions, tigers, and bears. Two lynx. Jaguars, monkeys, exotic birds and apes. Most of the animals found homes atContinue reading “The Maiden and the Lynx”

What Do Nicole Kidman and I Have in Common?

It’s not a porcelain doll complexion or stick figure body, that’s for sure. Neither is it the stick-straight blonde hair and blue eyes. Keep guessing! No, I wasn’t born in Honolulu — yes, she was! Check her detailed — albeit rather lengthy — Wikipedia profile if you think I’m lying! Time Magazine’s never named meContinue reading “What Do Nicole Kidman and I Have in Common?”

Where I Am Now

The Pember Museum in Granville, NY (population 6546 as of the 2000 census), typical of natural history collections built in the Victorian era, houses a premier assortment of specimens assembled by a private philanthropist more than a century ago. I volunteer here, assisting with cataloguing, because it exemplifies the curiosity and interest in the naturalContinue reading “Where I Am Now”