Monday, April 4, 2011


Nathanael is taking an entomology course this semester, and since everything is nice and warm now, they have all begun collecting their specimens. Nathanael's growing collection is in little glass jars which now adorn my bedroom shelf. That spiny caterpillar on the corner is my favorite so far. I found that one for him while we gardened on Saturday.

 This particular course is focused only on agricultural pests, but that doesn't make the collecting too much more difficult, especially considering our pesticide free garden. It is nice that Nathanael has now learned the symptoms and appearances of certain pests and also helpful creatures, so he can tell me which to squish and which to encourage.

This amazingly bedecked critter is something we discovered on our walk home from church on Sunday. We didn't collect him, but let him continue on his merry way. Isn't he awesome?

In other insect news, the Mississippi is rising. 

That's our garden on the far left, the levee in the middle and the river on the right (where there is dry ground during other seasons). 
Basically this means the mosquitoes are killer.
I took some Benadryl in the middle of the night last night and the world is a lot less itchy now.

As for the plants, the broccoli is coming along steady and slow,

the squashes are beginning to pep up,

and the lettuce continues to be delicious.

Have you ever collected insects? Have you ever seen an aspirator for such purposes? 
I hadn't before this semester, but I think they're genius.


  1. Oh these are really cool! Great photographs of the insects, and I never would have thought of using an aspirator. Just make sure they don't get out ;-)

  2. We actually make our own contraptions, similar to that aspirator from baby food jars, drinking straws and cheese cloth. I actually have the draft post written as I am going to share the how-to, but I'm having trouble collecting enough jars for all of the kids to make one of their own (as we had always made our own baby chow). Never knew their was one on the market. Neat. Also I envy your garden & climate.

  3. I actually went looking for insects to photograph yesterday, and I couldn't find any! I guess they were all hiding? Or maybe it was still too cold. Anyway, that caterpillar is the cutest thing ever.

  4. I did this as part of an AP Bio class my senior year of high school. Had a TON of fun sloshing through mud and muck. The bugs you have all found are pretty awesome looking!

  5. We find all sorts of crazy critters on our project in Costa Rica. It always freaks me out to see how some that are so small could do so much damage to you with a little bite.

  6. I like ladybugs but aside from that....I'll leave the bug-collecting to my kids.

  7. If you need some really good samples, the two most deadly caterpillars live at my Mom's house... one sent her to the ER. Here's my post about them:


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