Paxton Gate

Paxton Gate

These folks take their bugs very seriously. From the outside it looks like a gardening shop for exotic flowers with fancy pots, river rocks, expensive tools and ferns. But towards the back there's a counter with the creatures mounted in a large, glass display. Besides the same ready-made displays, they do custom mounting and even offer classes and lectures on this study. A second section is devoted to fossils and geodes, all very reasonable and incredible. Check out the sharks teeth, millions of years old for only $8.50 a piece. Paxton is also very community-minded and offers a variety of lectures and classes available, including a class for kids, "Introduction to Entomology," for a $2 donation. You can't beat that, Mom!

One more thing, if you've heard the urban legend about the place where you can learn how to stuff a mouse, yes a real mouse, and dress it up in a cute little outfit, this is the place you heard about.

- Excerpt from Butterflies are Free by Victoria Jayne Joyce