The strangest creatures are, to me,
The ones I love the best.
The creepy, crawly and the odd
Are cooler than the rest…
These magnificent beasties are the armoured vehicles of the insect population and the largest terrestrial-dwelling beetles in the UK. Their common name is a reference – unsurprisingly – to their antler-shaped “mandibles” or jaws, which they use to fight over territory, but not, perhaps surprisingly, to win the respect of female Stag Beetles..!
These Curious Creatures have intrigued me ever since I found an expired female stag beetle (see below ) in a south-west France many years ago. I drew it next to a blackbird’s feather, captivated by the different tones of black, the textural contrasts and inky depths of colour. I found it – and still find them all as a species – fascinating and beautiful, particularly the males, with their extraordinary maroon-red mandibles.
Now you know what reenactment is, from Alison’s excellent article, you may want to know a bit more about how it all works. How much work is involved in sewing the clothes, what do they eat, how do they get around? Alison’s mother Jax has written a great article about all this and more
It wasn’t an easy life, living in Tudor times. You can find that out by reading about it in a variety of places.
But I found it out by living it at Kentwell Hall.
We do reenactment. We being our entire family, from my son who was a Tudor baby aged 4 months last summer, through to my partner Tim.