Finally, a much anticipated visit to Paxton Gate. Upon entering, I actually felt myself saying: “This is everything I dreamed it would be.”

And it was.

It’s a shop of natural wonders and a few oddities, with a neo-victorian aesthetic. You can not only marvel at this cabinet of curiosities, but you can buy these delights as well. Take home a bit of Darwin’s fancies.

Sea things.Skull cabinet.Snapping Turtles.Terrariums.Moss! My favorite. Buckets of it.Things to science.Insects.Bits from nature.

Not pictured terribly well was all the taxidermy in the place. In addition to the scientific representations, there was also a “unicorn”–a palomino horse with what looked like a narwhal tusk, a “flying monkey”–a baboon with eagle’s wings, and an assortment of white mice in fancy dress.

I came out with a mounted Common Rose butterfly, a letter press mushroom note card, and a glass eye for a fox.

If you’re ever in San Francisco or Portland, do stop by Paxton Gate for the experience. Otherwise, settle for their website–PaxtonGate.com–and bring a bit of wonder home via their online shop.

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