Sunday, June 7, 2009

Bugs for school

A couple of weeks ago we scrambled to find bugs for our son's science project.

was supposed to bring 3 of them in for Biology. He found some small ones, put them in plastic containers, and left them outside (for an adolescent boy who usually makes fun of his mother's squeamishness, he's surprisingly concerned about the idea of them getting loose in his backpack). Next morning -- plastic containers are gone!! Did somebody pick them up thinking they were trash? Then we saw chewed up plastic containers in the yard. The dogs had gotten the bugs! (I told him this was his perfect opportunity to tell a teacher that "the dog ate my homework" but he was not amused)

The next night we both went on the hunt. It was surprisingly difficult to find anything. He got an ant and a mosquito. There we were, both of us hunting in the dark with flashlights
looking for bug #3 (couldn't he have done this during daylight hours???) I find a huge slug. Will a slug work? No, I guess not. Finally, we locate a slim beetle with enormous antennae crawling on a window. We bring it inside. Son claims the jar lid is too loose, he needs to transfer it into a more secure jar (there's that fear of bugs crawling in his back pack again). I tell Husband it's his turn to help by engineering the transfer of the bug. I return to my office computer, and next thing I hear is, "It flies! I didn't know it could fly!", and yes, the bug had escaped to the top of our 14 foot ceiling. Much running around, turning lights on and off, squinting to track flight patterns... and after procuring a ladder from a neighbor... son recaptures the bug and puts it safely into its new home, or should I say morgue, as I understand it was to be gassed and dissected.

Not sure if one would consider this a happy or a sad ending to the story.


This week another innocent bug got captured for my Hoppy Palace Baby Phonics course. "A" is for a-a-ant. Five little two year olds peered intently at the amiable creature in the jar, who actually seemed to be waving his antennae at them (antennae! another a-a-a word! The two year olds were not impressed until I showed them how to make antennae with their fingers on their heads. Then they giggled.) I had best intentions of letting my ant loose again after my Saturday class... little suspecting that the building management would spray for bugs on Friday night, so on Saturday morning I found the little guy with all six legs pointing straight up at the s-s-sky.

I used an apple for my prop, instead.


Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.
-- Proverbs 6:6-8

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