Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Little Science

Just thought I’d share a few discoveries from the last week or so.

The first photos are of an egg casing I found on a sugar snap plant in our garden. We put it in a labeled jar to see what hatches! Any guesses? We are looking through some of our books for an answer, but nothing yet!

Here is a ground beetle FRitW found in the yard. We have seen lots of these over the years. Kirk caught this one and we observed him a bit, and then released him. You can see how big he is by comparing the insect to FRitW’s finger right next to the jar.

Tuesday morning, as Dad was heading out for work, he thought he heard one of the kids tapping on their window to tell him good-bye, but saw no one. He then realized it was one of our resident woodpeckers in one of the trees right in front of our house. He came back in to get me to come out and see it. It was a Pileated Woodpecker. Neither of us had ever seen such a large woodpecker. Later, the kids and I headed outside to look for it and found two! They were calling back and forth to each other and flying back and forth between a couple of trees. To see a photo and hear the call go to this website. The woodpecker was so funny to watch this morning. I told Dad that I could definitely see where the cartoonists came up with 'Woody Woodpecker'!

We planted these snapdragons because they are a host plant for the Buckeye butterfly. We found this out completely by accident one year when our flowers were covered with caterpillars and cocoons. We brought a cocoon inside to develop to see if it was a beneficial insect. When the butterfly hatched we decided to sacrifice all of our snapdragons to these cute little guys. We had literally hundreds of Buckeyes fluttering around and the snapdragons came back the next fall and spring!

Again we have toads. These three were found while moving pavers to build Dad’s belated birthday patio. This time, MT actually held one!

Final photos for today are of FRitW’s current insect pet. He loves to catch crickets, and roly polys, and grasshoppers, and anything he can find that moves! After reading about crickets, he decided that his cricket needed some dirt to dig in and picked a strawberry from Mimi’s garden because crickets like to eat juicy fruits. (Update: this morning the strawberry pieces were gone! Today Mr. Cricket got a piece of a grape.)



Renee' said...

wow look at the pinchers on that bug.
ack frogs lol
Great photos :)

Deb said...

That metallic-looking thing is eggs? It looks like fancy trim. Did they hatch yet? Yuk. Keep it outside!