B is for Bugs

Whatcha' got?

It was a very Buggy week around here…

On Sunday morning, Grandad brought a surprise home from his walk…

moth 1

A very large moth.

It was sitting in the middle of the path, and didn’t so much as move when he walked up to it, even though it was still alive. He scooped it up and carried it another mile and half, just to show the kids.

I popped it into a clean peanut butter jar (See? There are great reasons to save such things!) and let the kids get a close look. They marveled at its furry body, and long, feathered antennae. We looked it up in the field guide – a Cecropia moth. I forgot to take any pictures of it in the jar, so here’s a link to a good one.

Given the state it was found in, and the fact that it wasn’t doing much moving in the jar, I figured it was simply near the end of its short adult life…

moth 2

Then, the sun started to go down…

Even though the jar was inside and away from the windows, when it got to be around 4:30, the moth suddenly became active. It stretched. It fluttered. It wanted OUT.

We waited until dusk – not really nice to release your new friend early and let him become a bird’s dinner! – and took it to the porch. It sat briefly on each little hand before launching into the sky. They were thrilled…

Later in the week, Angel spied something interesting next to the register at the feed store…they’re peering at it in the top photo.

What is it?

ladybugs!

Ladybugs!

Now, I know that releasing purchased ladybugs into the garden really doesn’t do much for pest control…they don’t usually hand around long enough to lay eggs and get the cycle started. But we have a wicked aphid problem this year, so every little bit helps…and the kids loved it.

Once again, we waited until dusk to release…Four days later, Angel is still running to the garden in the mornings to count them! They seem to have helped after all!

shadow boy

Oh… ‘B’ is also for ‘Boy’….

I think we need to spend more evenings outside :)

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33 thoughts on “B is for Bugs

    • Me too, Judy…When Angel first came to live with us, she was terrified of bugs – even dead bugs. Now she carries rolly-polys around in her hand and gently moves earthworms from one garden to another. It’s a joy to watch :)

  1. You’re helping make such fantastic childhood memories for those two. They might not yet know to say thank you for them, but they will appreciate them for the rest of their lives.

  2. What a beautiful moth! It must have been caught in the daylight without a safe place to sleep. Good thing Grandad was around to give it one. I can just feel their little preschool excitement at all of the buggy wonders for the week. They’re going to start growing like mad weeds now that they can play outside again.

  3. OMG – how tall is Niko’s father? This is going to be one very tall guy :) ! Wonderful photos . . . . I adore ladybugs which were very copious in my childhood days in Northern Europe: some of your readers may relate to this age-old poem from N Europe: [badly translated from German!!]:

    Ladybug fly away. ‘Maik√§ferchen fliege
    Your father is in war, Dein Vater ist im Kriege
    Your mother lives in Prussia Dein Mutter lebt in Pommerland
    Prussia has burnt down to cinders . . . Pommerland hat abgebrannt!’

    Of course it is in German rhyme form and DID make the ladybugs fly off your arm [probably 'cause they got bored with the rhyme :) !] Supposed to be a political poem? I still sing it on the rare occasions a ladybug finds me in my part of Oz :D !!

    • Niko’s dad is about 6’4″…and he has tall uncles, too. Looking at the two of them next to each other, it’s hard to believe he’s younger by 18 months…

      I’d never heard the German version. It kind of helps explain the English/American one, though:

      Ladybug, ladybug,
      Fly away home.
      Your house is on fire
      And your children are alone.

      I always wondered why you would say something so awful to such a sweet beetle…

  4. How wonderful for Angel and Niko to have such magical evening activities! I followed the link to get a better look at the moth. It’s beautiful! I’ve never seen one like it. Next time you need ladybugs, let me know. We have plenty and more.

  5. I’ve heard about buying ladybirds and thought it sounded like a great idea. My broad beans are now being hit by aphids and the artichokes ar ecovered in ants. Blurgh! Maybe I should investigate a bit more! Loved the last shot – the shadow one

  6. I love this. There is nothing like spending time outside learning about and being in awe of nature – especially when you get to view it through the eyes of children.

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