The biggest reason we started the "Help Zach see the World" project was because the bugs were gone for the winter. Okay, well, MOST of the bugs were gone for the winter. Zach has a way of finding bugs no matter what season it is, it seems. We really thought this whole winter would go by and there would be NO bugs in sight whatsoever, but that kid has a knack for entomology. Every now and then, he would come home with something in his bug jar. Those little bugs were most likely woken up from their hibernation, I'm sure.
Since this past weekend, Zach has been in his glory! It's bug heaven here at our house! Flies were hatching out and Zach caught a total of 67 of them in his bug jars. I can't even begin to count all the bug jars that boy has in this house, in the van and outside. We had a bit of sun outside over the weekend, so the flies were all over the outside walls of the house and on our wooden walkway. Last week, Zach came home from school with a bilateral ear infection, so we stopped at the drug store in town to pick up some meds for him and while we were there, we found some new bug nets for him to use this spring. I was smart and got 3 of them, making sure to put two of them away in our bedroom so that we could space them out as he wears them out. (I learned the hard way last year when he went through one of his nets and we couldn't find a new one ANYWHERE....he ended up confiscating the net we use for the fish tank.)
Yesterday, there was a church supper after the service and the kids always look forward to this. I don't know which Zach was more excited about....the church supper or the fact that we let him take his bug jars to church with him. He sat there in the fellowship hall at the table with his plate of food and 4 of his bug jars piled on top of each other, making a tower. And yes, they were full of buzzing flies. And yes, right where every one could see them as they were eating. We're blessed to have a really great church family that try to understand Zach and interact with him. There were a bunch of kids gathering around him, checking out the flies and asking questions. (He actually did the same thing last month at the church supper with ladybugs he had caught in the windowsills in the classroom at church.)
When Zach came home from school today, he went right into the brush at the edge of our property and started turning rocks over looking for "Roley Poleys." I'm sure this isn't their technical name, but it's what he and the kids at school call these bugs.
He had a little bug jar with him...this bug jar was actually an empty plastic muffin cup container. You know the kinds that the paper muffin cups come in? He LOVES those...he's always asking for me to make banana chocolate chip muffins so that he can use the empty container for his bugs. So..........as he was turning over the rocks, it would turn up a BUNCH of these little bugs. He put some grass in his bug jar and pretty much scraped the bugs off the rocks and into his bug jar. He must have had about 30 in there!
Zach brought his bug jar in after he'd caught his fill and then sat at the table with it. He opened the container up so that he could see them better. He sat there singing and talking to them in the special "language" he's made up for the bugs he catches. He knows the names of these bugs, but he has his own special names for them, and special sounds that he says these bugs make. Often times, he tells us to repeat what he's said. For instance, pill bugs are "doo-doo-doo bugs". Gypsy moths are "tev moths." He knows they're pill bugs and gypsy moths, but these are the names he says they give him. He finds it so incredibly funny when we repeat back the things he asks us to repeat. He has such a wicked sense of humor.
We're all glad the bugs are back. We've all been waiting for this ALL winter long. Zach was so desperate for bugs that he even took to searching through our potted plants for aphids, and if you know anything about aphids, they're SMALL! Tiny! Miniscule! We've had dirt on the floor around those pots on more occasions than I'd like to remember.
Zach even has sister catching bugs now. Her favorite is the wooly bear. She comes home with a few each day and has a house for them...which they get out of on a frequent basis. It's probably good that she catches new ones each day. They replace the dead ones that we find in their bedroom. HA! And yes, I'm serious!
I never thought I'd be the kind of mother that would allow bugs in the house. Not that I'm a girly-girl. I'm nothing of the sort, actually. Far from it. A tom boy at heart. But I was never one to collect bugs (dead OR alive) and I've never been the sort to pick them up and study them either. Sure, I'll take pictures of butterflies and such, but I don't search for them and put them in jars. Zach loves them, though. And his sister is following his lead. There could be worse things. Much worse things. ;)
The way I figure it is this. Zach is probably going to be a brilliant entomologist someday. He also wants to see the world. It wouldn't surprise me if this boy ended up trekking through the jungles of South America, Africa, India......looking for new species of insects, taking pictures, collecting samples, etc. And I wouldn't mind following my boy through those jungles. :)