Don't call an exterminator. These big bugs at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona are welcomed guests, and they neither sting nor bite.
David Rogers is the artist, creating the bug sculptures using various combinations of whole trees, cut green saplings, selectively harvested from the willow family, dry branches and other forest materials. Each sculpture is unique in material, shape, color and texture. Rogers is a trained boat builder and self-taught branch bender, who has been creating sculptures in this way since he was 15 years old.
The Big Bugs exhibition has toured public and private botanical gardens and nature centers throughout the U.S. If you visit the Desert Botanical Garden during this time, try to find all 10 Big Bugs: 3 ants, 1 praying mantis, 1 dragonfly, 1 spider and web, 1 grasshopper, 1 lady bug, 1 damsel fly and 1 assassin bug. That shouldn't be too difficult -- the ants are 25 feet long and 12 feet high, and the dragonfly has a 17 foot wingspan.
During October and November, and in honor of the huge creepy crawlies, Desert Botanical Garden will host Big Bug Movie Nights. Bring a blanket or low chair. The movies are free with your paid admission and for members of the Garden, but reservations are required at 480-481-8188. The movie lineup is:
- Saturday, October 1: Ants
- Saturday, October 8: Charlotte's Web
- Saturday, October 15: A Bugs Life
- Wednesday, November 2: The Fly (original version)
- Wednesday, November 9: Beetlejuice
- Wednesday, November 16: Arachnophobia
Big Bugs at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix: The Details
Date of the exhibition: Monday, September 12, 2011 through Sunday, January 22, 2012
Time: During regular garden hours
Cost: Included with admission to Desert Botanical Garden
Where: Map and Directions to the Desert Botanical Garden
More: About Desert Botanical Garden
Special events during this time (additional charge may apply):
- The Great Pumpkin Festival (October)
- Dia de los Muertos Ofrenda and Festival (October)
- Las Noches de las Luminarias (holiday event)
All dates, times, prices and offerings are subject to change without notice.