Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Plague of the Frogs and a Mother's Quandary

Suburban living doesn't necessarily mean little or no interaction with nature. We live squarely in the suburbs, and our yard is not huge, but we spent a lot of time outdoors this summer, and had some very fun creaturely encounters. I suppose some of the encounters fall more into the category of "interesting" than "fun," but I'll get to those in a minute.
Walking Stick Insect




















Elaborate spider's web with large and FAST spider. This fellow would dash up and down his web whenever we approached. We couldn't believe how quickly he moved (Does anyone know what kind he is?)



Tiny toads: After a week of heavy rains, our backyard was brimming with 2 cm toads. With just about every step, I had little toads hopping about my ankles. I thought at first they were grasshoppers, but was delighted to find that they were these cute little creatures instead.

Large toad: A week later we found a big toad in the garden. The girls wanted nothing to do with touching him, but they sure liked looking at him.
Large scorpion in the sandbox next to little G who was of course, more interested than alarmed.

And last of all... sigh...M found a dead cicada on our back patio and insisted for several days that this bug was her best friend. She carried him around with her, hugged him, and laid him down in a leafy bug "bed" for frequent naps. I bit my tongue to keep from expressing my disgust at the thing, but I was not unhappy when he eventually disappeared! (By the way, is this just too gross? Should I have intervened so that she would know that dead bugs are not really socially acceptable friends?)

7 comments:

Sarah Christina said...

I think it's awesome that she was hanging out with the dead insect. Maybe talk to her about it being dead and all if she takes to doing it again?
:)

Sandi said...

At least she wasn't screaming like dumb girls do about bugs. I think it's healthy to not be afraid to touch them. Hugging though . . . ;)

Andy said...

i think the spider is what we commonly called a "writing spider" growing up. don't know the official name.

Deanna said...

hi! That spider is a Black and Yellow Garden Orb Spider. (I'm in South Austin and get several a year). They "lay" these cool paper egg sacks and attach them with super strong webbing. The eggs overwinter in the sack and supposedly hatch out in the spring but we've never seen babies- only big ones. They eat wasps and other bugs and are tasty eating for birds.

havingfunathomeblog said...

Thanks, Andy and Deanna for the info about the spider. I did a web search, and it does look like mine is a writing spider (aka a yellow and black garden orb spider). And it DOES look like he has writing in his web. How fun!

havingfunathomeblog said...

Thanks, Andy and Deanna for the info about the spider. I did a web search, and it does look like mine is a writing spider (aka a yellow and black garden orb spider). And it DOES look like he has writing in his web. How fun!

Andy said...

i think the spider is what we commonly called a "writing spider" growing up. don't know the official name.