- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Then around 5:30 comes the urgent message from her colleague, arachnologist Jason Bond, associate dean of the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Natural Resources and the Evert and Marion Schlinger Endowed Chair of the Department of Entomology and Nematology. The Bond lab and the Bohart Museum share a portion of the first floor of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane.
Lynn, there's a water leak at the Bohart Museum! Emergency!
Lynn hurries to her car and heads to the Bohart Museum. When she enters the building, there in the hallway is the "wet area," blocked with yellow "caution" floor signs and a bright orange pylon.
Except the "wet area" is dry. Bone dry.
Surprise! Surprise! Happy birthday!
Unbenownest to Kimsey, the UC Davis Entomology Club (advised by her husband, forensic entomologist Bob Kimsey, adjunct professor with the Department of Entomology and Nematology), had earlier decorated the museum with birthday balloons, banners and streamers.
Meanwhile, where is Bob? He had finished preparing taco fixings at their son's home for the birthday celebration and was heading toward the Yolo Causeway (connecting West Sacramento with Davis), when traffic delayed him.
Not to worry, Bob and the taco fixings made it.
Meanwhile, Lynn sets about opening a myriad of gifts, including a miniature hinged box from Keller ("Lynn likes tiny boxes," Keller said). Other gifts include an "Educated Guess" wine from Oakville, and a 10-inch radio-controlled tarantula, billed as "big, hairy and scary."
It wasn't. But with Lynn Kimsey at the controls, the tarantula races around the floor, stopping at feet that pretend to stomp it.
This was a milestone birthday celebration! (We're not telling which one, but Lynn Kimsey probably will!)
The "big, hairy and scary" radio-controlled tarantula is now sharing the Bohart Museum with several live tarantulas from its petting zoo:
- Princess Herbert, the Brazilian salmon-pink bird-eating tarantula (Lasiodora parahybana). She is estimated to be around 20 years old, the oldest current resident of the Bohart Museum
- Peaches, the Chilean rose hair tarantula (Grammostola rosea)
- Coco McFluffin, the Chaco golden knee tarantula (Grammostola pulchripes), native to Paraguay and Argentina
Kimsey and other Bohart Museum officials are now gearing up for the 12th annual UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day, a Super Science Day, set Saturday, Feb. 18 when 11 museums or collections (including the Bohart) open their doors to the public. It's free and family friendly. (See line-up)
The Bohart Museum, founded in 1946, houses a global collection of eight million insect specimens, plus a petting zoo, featuring Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking sticks and tarantulas; and a year-around gift shop, stocked with insect-themed books, posters, jewelry, t-shirts, hoodies and more. Named for UC Davis professor and noted entomologist Richard Bohart (1913-2007), the museum is dedicated to "understanding, documenting and communicating terrestrial arthropod diversity."