Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Bugs and Toads Galore

One of Adi's favorite things to do in the summer is collect, raise and eventually release a variety of bugs and the occasional amphibian.

Monarchs are no strangers to our home.  We raise many caterpillars each year but it just never seems to get old.  Some of them hang around for a little while before flying off and some fly instantly away, but I try to get photos of each one before we release them to their wild journey.
Adilyn found a toad at our friends place in the country and she just had to bring him home.  Meet Arani. I have no idea where she got the name, just her vast imagination I suppose.
Arani has been one of the hardest for her to let go.  We have this cute pond by our entryway and that is where we released him in hopes that he would stick around and we'd get to see him again.  We did see him once but he's been hiding from us since.
One morning we noticed a giant bug on the front door.  The light had been left on all night, which I later learned these guys are attracted to.  So after a bit of research we learned that what we had on our hands was a Grape Leaf (Grape Vine) Beetle.  We kept it for about a week, we had plenty of grape leaves to feed it, but it was just too messy.  It pooped a LOT!  So we released it on one of our wild grape vines that never produces grapes and haven't seen it since.
I have to get a couple more photos of monarchs in since we put so much time and energy into them.  This one hung around for at least half an hour before flying away which was a real treat for Adilyn.
In this photo you can see both a new butterfly and a chrysalis about ready to "hatch" just hours later.  We had four in just a few days time.  That was a lot of fun!

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