Green Abalone Shell – Collected from California

This shell comes from a species of large sea snail, the green abalone. The outer brown shell layer has been removed to reveal the beautiful mother-of-pearl underneath. Did you know that the green abalone can live up to 30 years or more? They live in shallow water under rocks, in rock crevices, and other hidden… Continue reading

Collections – Yoda Hand Puppet | Ohio, 1980

Made by Kenner as part of their Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back collection, the Yoda hand puppet (complete with white hair) had a good likeness to the legendary teacher of the Jedi Knights. Just like the puppet from the film, all this hand puppet needed was a helping hand and some imagination to bring… Continue reading

Collections – Temple Lantern | Japan, ca. early 1900s

This brass lantern was designed to hang under the eaves of Buddhist temples and shrines in Japan. Shaped like a pagoda, it has hinged doors and a traditional Japanese design etched on its six sides. Originally introduced from China around the 8th century for use in Imperial palaces, these lamps became popular fixtures to light… Continue reading

Collections – Turkey Vulture | Collected from Texas

Native to North America, turkey vultures are a familiar sight in much of the continental United States. These large birds ride thermal waves in the sky, gliding on columns of warm air heated by the sun. The scavengers use their heightened sense of smell to find food, feasting on carrion. Their sophisticated immune system protects… Continue reading

Collections – Leech Jar Staffordshire, England, 1850

Hard to believe that leeches were kept in this beautiful jar! In the mid-19th century, medical practitioners used these blood-sucking worms as a cure-all, treating everything from boils to headaches. Today doctors continue to employ leeches, though not nearly as often! For example, leeches can be used to prevent tissue death by kick-starting blood flow… Continue reading