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Rachel in Japan

WCVE producer Steve Clark and entomologist Dr. Art Evans talks a former Virginia resident Rachel Butler, who now resides in Japan where she streams 88.9 FM WCVE Richmond Public Radio. Rachel submitted a couple of WBY-inspired mug designs for the annual spring Mug Stop.

SC: I’m Steve Clark with Dr. Art Evans, entomologist, and this is What’s Bugging You. Today we’re visiting by phone with Rachel Butler, a former Virginia resident now living in Japan. She still listens to WCVE and sent in a contribution for our Mug Stop contest.

AE: Hello Rachel. What’s the time difference there? What’s it, 13-hours difference?

RB: Yes, I am 13 hours in the future.

AE: What inspired your Mug Stop design?

RB: Well, I’ve always been interested in bugs and things. As a kid I was an avid egg carton filler (laughing) with assorted bugs, whether I could identify them or not.

AE: Sure.

RB: So yeah, What’s Bugging You has always been an interesting part of WCVE’s podcasts, and as an avid NPR listener, I’m always saying, “Ah, I heard this on NPR, or I heard that on WCVE,” so I wanted to find a sort of unified vision of my love for bugs and “I heard it on NPR.”

AE: You offered up two designs here.

SC: Let’s do the W. ceveus.

RB: (laughing) I was trying to come up with something that looked sort of scientific. The beetle that I used sort of as a model for the W. ceveus was actually a Japanese beetle.

AE: I recognized it was something scarab-like, and I was really intrigued with the fact that you got the 88.9 on a scale bar. I thought that was very clever, and only just this morning did I realize the wing venation used on the beetle.

RB: Well, if you look carefully you’ll see WCVE.
AE: Nicely done.

SC: Yes, it’s nicely done. In the other drawing you sent us you have one of my favorite insects, the eyed click beetle.

RB: I grew up in Mechanicsville, and we would find them all the time, and I thought they were so funny. So that was the first bug that popped into my mind for that other little cartoon.

SC: Everyone can take a look at these drawings on our website.

AE: So what kind of beetles do you see in Japan?

RB: Unfortunately I live in the city, so most of the bugs I see are like small gnats that fly into my eyes while I’m riding my bike.

AE: (laughing) Now I’ve heard the Japanese are really big on beetles. They call them mushi.

RB: Ah, yes and even high school students still enjoy going out and collecting rhinoceros beetles and stag beetles during the summer, and some kids even keep them as pets. You know they don’t have ant farms; they got beetle boxes.

AE: Wow.

SC: I see where you rode four and a half miles on the back of a rhinoceros beetle as a monorail.

RB: Oh, oh gosh, you can see that picture? (laughing)

AE: Hey, if it’s on the internet, we can see it.

RB: Oh yeah. So it was like an hour long ride. It was originally just for putting cut firewood on, but they don’t really cut wood up there anymore, so they turned it into an attraction, and they’re all shaped like interesting beetles.

SC: Well, Rachel Butler it’s been a delight talking to you and a delight to see your art work.

RB: Great, thank you so much.

SC: Thank you.

AE: Thanks for joining us. We had some other submissions that were inspired by What’s Bugging You, and you can see those too on the website.

SC: You’ll find those drawings and a photo of Rachel riding a beetle monorail at ideastations.org/radio/bugs.


Rachel’s Mug Stop mug design submissions: W. ceveus and Eyed Click beetle with fireflies.



David Wilbourne’s Mug Stop mug design submission with portrait of Art Evans.



Mary Clark’s Mug Stop mug design submission Bees and Hive.