Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Bugs at the Library

On Friday, July 18, Jerry Schneider, the Bug Man, who came last July for his bat presentation, presented a great program about bugs in our area for the kids at the Barton Public Library.

He showed us Crick-ettes snacks in Bacon & Cheese flavor. I swear that the crickets were still hopping in that box!

He showed us Larvets — "the original worm snack" — in Mexican spice flavor.

Jerry taught Wingnut and me several new things about bugs. He showed us photos of the spittle bug and a crane flies. On Saturday, Wingnut promptly found specimens of both and I will be posting them as soon as I can.

There were slides from Mexico showing us where our Monarch butterflies go in the winter. The Monarchs were dazzling the trees, hanging like Christmas ornaments. It was spectacular.

Jerry told us how to create butterfly gardens. But after listening to him, I have decided to do what I have been doing: go natural. Just let your land go wild (no brush-whacking) and the "weeds" do the rest! Each butterfly and moth has specific wild flowers that it eats from and lays eggs on.

Below is the biggest moth on earth: the Atlas Moth from India. This is a male, only 9" across (22.9 cm). But the females can be a foot (38.5 cm) across! The ends of their wings resemble snakes so that predators will be scared and not eat the moths.

Jerry brought a tarantula (in a little cage):

We then went outside to make our bug shirts. But because of the threatening weather (see the next post!), we quickly went back inside. Jerry provided inexpensive t-shirts, stencils and bottles of Rit Fabric Dye. Here are only half of the kids that were making shirts Friday:

And below is Wingnut's creation:
Step 1: Place the stencils how you want them to appear:

Step 2: Spray the dye on the shirt:

Step 3: Lift the stencils off:

Step 4: Love your shirt!


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