Just south of Campbell River, Laurie noticed a sign: Black Creek Antiques, and an arrow. One rainy day we decided to check it out. We followed the arrow to a family home with a sign over a door by the garage, and a pile of rusting household equipment outside in the rain; ancient washing machines, wood stoves, pots, "whats-its". Inside, Mike Lazare plays the cheerful host, always ready to move things, talk about them, run for something else we may be interested in. His store is jammed with everything imaginable; antiques, vintage stuff, English china, bottles and historical memorabilia, collectibles, curiosities, teapots, and much more. In back, Mike showed us an antique cannon and his vintage Ford. (I oohhed and ahhed; Laurie not so much. I'm the car person in this couple.)
We browsed for a while. Laurie bought a couple of items. I picked up a pair of Chinese ginger jars. And Laurie bought me a bug.
Mike called it an antique Egyptian scarab; a real one.
Scarab. About 1.4 cm. long. A glittering, metallic green.
Big round eyes. The pink dots below them are light reflecting off the curve of the antennae.
The underside looks like polished copper. The legs are folded tightly against it; nothing sticks out. I started to doubt. This could not be real! It looks too metallic, too manufactured. I decided to investigate.
Bottom. The camera renders the copper as green and brown; my eyes see only coppery brown.
Yes, with the camera on macro, I can see that this is too detailed for a copy. Here's the head end:
The antennae are tucked underneath the legs. The little stick off to the left is half of a front leg that fell off.
And to doubly confirm that this is a real beetle, I turned the microscope on it:
200x. The "ankle" of the last leg, with part of the abdominal rings. See the hairs?
Verdict; yes, a real once-living beetle. But I looked up the Egyptian scarab; this is not it. It's some sort of dung beetle, but I don't know what kind, nor where it came from.
Not that I'm complaining; it was a great gift. Laurie knows the way to a woman's heart! (Well, mine, at least.)