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‘Big Bugs’ swarming Lakeside Lab

By Staff | Jul 10, 2009

Top: The praying mantis is unique as it can turn its head from left to right unlike most insects. The praying mantis sculpture is made out of a black locust tree and is 18 by 20 by 2 feet. EDN photos by Jenna Thunhorst

WAHPETON-Bees, dragonflies, ants, spiders; sound like a bug lover’s dream come true-and a bug hater’s worst nightmare.

These bugs aren’t real, however and are also larger than life. The sculptures are several feet tall or long.

Long Island, N.Y. native David Rogers’ ‘Big Bugs’ exhibit showcases his talent for making sculptures.

Rogers makes his sculptures out of dead trees, dry branches, cut green saplings, usually from the willow family, and other forest materials.

‘Big Bugs’ started in 1994 and has been making its way across the U.S. ever since.

The purpose of Rogers’ exhibit is to entertain and educate people about insects and their role in the environment.

The exhibit is making it’s first appearance in Iowa for the Lakeside Lab’s 100th anniversary. It’s open and free to the public.

Visitors can see the exhibit on a self-guided tour. There are maps of the campus located at the visitor’s center and library.

The exhibit features a dragonfly, praying mantis, grasshopper, assassin bug, spider, ladybug beetle and three ants.

Rogers has also made sculptures of dinosaurs, gazebos, and other animals such as deer and his creation which he calls ‘Goliath.’

Iowa’s Lakeside Lab is located on the west side of West Lake Okoboji near Wahpeton off of Highway 86.

July 11 is lakeside’s birthday party and open house. Aug. 1-2 is a reunion for alumni, faculty, staff and their families. Oct. 4 is the last day to see the ‘Big Bugs’.

According to the Web site, Lakeside Lab’s missions are to provide science classes and research opportunities for university students and to offer public programs and provide services through the state universities.