Wild at the Museum

Vignetteshort description – anecdote – sketch – picture – story

View of Marseille from Longchamp Palace
Longchamp Palace gallery
Le Calanque – mural at the Natural History Museum Longchamp Palace

Wanting to see if there was a Spring garden set out at the foot of Longchamp palace – which was not the case, the front garden looked bare with no sprouting fountains – the entrance door of the National History Museum stood open, welcoming people to view the latest exhibition on animal evolution and the story on the trafficking of wild animals. I entered the quiet, dimly lit space.

Exposition on Evolution at Muséum d’histoire naturelle Longchamp Palace
Fox and cub
Penguin cub with parent
A tiger with lifelike eyes

Probably you are like me, having mixed feelings about mounted animals although the artisan skill of mounting gives these animals a second life, for educational purposes. Taxidermy is what it is called, arrangement of skin, preserving an animal body for display and study. Alas, there are also people who are involved in illegal wildlife trade – as one of the displays by the Marseille Customs informed us.

Gibbon and eagle behind glass
A collection of birds of prey
Exposition room
Confiscated items by the Marseille Customs
The trumpeter of Longchamp

Young students were running around with a question list in hand to find the right answers while I was more interested in having a closer look of animals I normally don’t get close to. I was amazed how lifelike the eyes of some mounted animals could be. When I noticed later a real cat outside the building I realised again “Ah, those eyes have it.”

Le Jardin Botanique
Iris near water
Iris sibirica

Le Jardin Botanique in my neighborhood has become my favorite garden. Spring is still blossoming there while the season is shifting into sunnier days. Recently it was 24°C, which should be pleasant but it felt so much warmer than that. What are we and governments truly doing in effectively fighting the climate crisis?

Blossoms behind a tree
Those eyes have it – cat behind fence

All Photos Copyright © 2019-2022 August Timmermans – All Rights Reserved