I love nature....love insects, spiders, animals, birds, trees, flowers, plants, pretty much everything nature related! The other day the kids and I saw a huge spider climbing up towards Brittany's room. It went really fast and I didn't get any pictures. Today the big girl came down to visit. In fact, she repeatedly went up and down her web. It was like she was coming down to have her picture taken. I got some good ones.
After researching, I think I have determined she is a Labyrinthe Orb Weaver Spider. She was about the size of a 50 cent piece. Yes, HUGE!! She was just in the beginning of making her web, so I wasn't able to check it out. Apparently they usually spin their web overnight. I think this is true because we have seen several of these critters early in the morning in elaborate webs. We used to have one right outside our back door.
Last week Emily came running to me to tell me that a bug was stuck in the screen of the back door. I asked her what kind and she asked for my phone to take a picture. Here is what she brought me:
Can you guess what it is? My favorite insect!! The praying mantis! Our screen on the back door already had a large hole in it so I used scissors and cut it off and got the poor mantis out of there. I took him over to a tree but he didn't want to get off on the first one. After I took him to another tree he jumped right onto it and then flew off. Yes, he flew. My mom didn't know Praying Mantis's could fly but I researched it and they do fly. This one was also brown, rather than green. I had never seen a brown praying mantis. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of him once he was free.
The day after we saw the praying mantis, we found a katydid while geocaching. Brittany got a picture of it and then we took it to a tree so it wasn't stuck in the middle of a business complex anymore.
Soon after that, on the same geocaching trip, we saw the smallest butterfly we had ever seen!
It was a pretty red and yellow!
In Tahlequah Ethan found a turtle on the ground. He loves turtles and was so much more interested in the turtle than the waterfall!
If I can figure out a way to keep a turtle away from Freckles, our dog, I would get Ethan one! My parents have a ton of turtles....they have been raising them for over 25 years. They are lots of fun and I would love to have one! (I think I would have a zoo if Michael would let me! Good thing God put us together)
The kids found this huge caterpillar outside our door one morning. We enjoyed checking him out and taking pictures of him before he went on his merry way.
As much as I love nature and creatures, it is amazing that we don't all have beautiful nature journals. Alas, I am not good on keeping up on them or getting the kids to keep on them. That is something I want to work on. A friend of mine just posted this link to the Handbook of Nature Study Blog which I will definitely be checking out! I have the Handbook of Nature Study along with several other wonderful Nature Journal books. I need to pull them all out and get inspired!
As a partially unrelated sidenote, but it's awfully funny, here is a Kaedra story for you:
We call Brittany "Bug" as one of her nicknames. The other day Kaedra told her "I will not call you Bug because that would make you a creature." Then she walked out of the room and said "goodbye." It cracked Brittany and I completely up!