Children see a lot of things differently. Bugs are one of those things. To the average kid, insects are miniature aliens that provide an endless source of fun and fascination. The grownup view? Not nearly as sympathetic. The same crawly creatures kids adore send wives running to husbands for cover and make big men scream like little girls. Love ’em or hate ’em (most folks choose the latter), bugs are part of our world, especially in warmer climates. While it may not change your perception-or burnish their image-Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center’s “Insectival” may increase your understanding of their small world. And it goes without saying that the youngsters will have a ball.
The big bug event takes place at the center on Saturday, July 13 from 10am-3pm. Scheduled activities include “creepy crawly crafts,” a cricket-spitting contest and the rare opportunity to snack on insect appetizers. Just to be clear, the “appetizers” are not the bug’s diet, but the creatures themselves. Scientists say they’re rich in protein: the jury is out on whether or not they taste like chicken. Naturally, a variety of spiders, beetles and other life forms with multiple legs and long antennae will be on full display, along with a demonstration of how honey is extracted from beehives and a bug’s-eye view of the Gulliver-size universe they inhabit. You’ll have to see for yourself if those images include the bottom of a shoe, a rolled up magazine, or the business end of a Raid can.
“Insectival” tickets are $5, with free admission for children three and under. The Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center is located at 3535 South Lumpkin Road, across from the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center. To find out more or learn about other programs, visit www.columbusstate.edu/oxbow or call 706-507-8550. By the way, the Oxbow Meadows Facebook page has insect trivia and recipes (nope, that’s not a typo), plus chances to win free tickets through July 13.