Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Creepy Crawlies and more!

I realize everyone's probably sick and tired of my bug pictures by now, but seeing as we're studying them at the moment, I seem to have created a new obsession. I figure we'll have lots of cool pictures for our insect notebooking pages, or at the very least, subjects to use while drawing in our journals. Regardless, its rather fun to go outside and see what you can find. Even with the unbearable heat, I've managed to drag the kids outside for a few minutes to do a nature study. Here are some of our recent discoveries.

This guy is rather creepy looking, but considering its just the exoskeleton, completely harmless. If you didn't know already, its a cicada. My boys were endlessly fascinated with it, especially since putting it anywhere within sight distance of their sister is sure to elicit screams of pure terror. Somebody please explain to me why someone would be terrified of something that isn't even alive and couldn't hurt you even if it was. After reading about them, and listening to them outside, Adam has announced that they are his favorite "insect music". Better yet was the fact that we had just read about exoskeletons, and then managed to find one of the largest ones around. Not bad for a few minutes walk!

The praying cool, yet so freaky. There is just something about an insect that can turn its head and look at you with those bulging eyes and grinding mandibles that just gives me the creeps. I do think they're totally cool though. We even raised a bunch of them a couple of years ago. We purchased an egg case and watched it for what seemed like FOREVER, to wake up one day to find what looked like thousands of tiny mantises crawling all over their enclosure. My daughter and I let them go outside, after she let them crawl all over her ((YUCK)), and I always wonder if the ones we find now are relatives of the ones we hatched. Wouldn't that be cool?

This one is by far my favorite. He was busy eating and pollinating to his heart's content on my butterfly bush. He is a Snowberry Clearwing Hummingbird Moth. He looks an awful lot like a bumblebee, but he flies like a hummingbird. He's quite friendly and will come right up to you just to say hi. The kids were rather intimidated by him because of his resemblance to a bee.

Okay, I do realize that this guy is not an insect, but rather, a spider. I simply thought that anything that can make a web this intricate deserved his spot on the blog. Isn't it beautiful? I wonder why he spins the pattern in the center of his web? Does it serve some purpose? Something to ponder on I guess...

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