Collector’s Corner — Vera Lin, the 6-Year-Old Collector of Nature


Collector's Corner — Vera Lin, the 6-Year-Old Collector of Nature

Here at Krrb Classifieds we love a good collection, especially one that’s unique. From where the collection began to the most significant item, we want to know the story behind it all. So we’re reaching out to collectors everywhere to find out what they collect and why!

When we ask collectors when they started collecting, they trail off thinking about the first time they put something in their pocket and brought it home. Collecting seems to be a habit that originates in the womb or just after it, but it takes a budding fortitude that little by little blossoms into a passion. So when Vera Lin, a 6-year-old first grader offered to share her emerging collection with us, we had to see it.

It’s not easy for a curious child to build a collection. Her first round of dead cicadas found in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park were crushed by too much man-handling, hers. Vera later found more cicadas around an apricot tree in her neighborhood that made it into the lot. When her pet blue death feigning beetles reached their demise, Vera added them to her collection. Of course, they were no where to be found so they may have been playing dead all along. Vera’s promising compilation serves almost as a scrapbook, marking walks in the park with her parents or visits to cousins in the country. Her newest addition—now the prized jewel of the collection—is a fallen bird’s nest she discovered only just this week.

Collector's Corner — Vera Lin, the 6-Year-Old Collector of Nature

Hi Vera! Can you tell me about what you collect?

Rocks, bugs, all that kind of stuff. Nature things. In my nature collection, I have rocks, pine cones, pine needles, shells, seeds, a fossil of a trilobite and feathers, but the feathers don’t usually fit in my box.

I have another collection box with dead things or things that came from animals: cicada exoskeletons, dead cicadas, bees, bones, a dead worm, a snail shell, a tiny sea star, shark teeth, and my dead pet blue beetles.

What kind of things are your favorite to collect?

Cicada exoskeletons and shells and mostly everything that used to be alive.

Collector's Corner — Vera Lin, the 6-Year-Old Collector of Nature

What’s the most special find in your collection and why?

The fossil of the trilobite because it’s from Julia and Emma [Vera’s cousins]. And because it’s my only bone that’s prehistoric, and it’s not a chicken bone.

How old were you when you started your collection?

Three. Two. I don’t know. [It was three.— Vera’s mother]

Collector's Corner — Vera Lin, the 6-Year-Old Collector of Nature

Where do you store your collection?

On my highest shelf – to keep it away from Ida [Vera’s 2-year-old sister]. The bigger collection is in a big hardware case, and the dead things are in little containers that used to hold tea. You can see through the top, and each one is about as big as you need to hold a snail shell. My kindergarten teacher, Roberta, gave those to me because she knows I like collecting. She also gave me my first dead bee when I was four.

What are you looking to add to your collection next?

A praying mantis.