First, we start in our own back yard with a "stinky bug" as T Rex calls them. By the time I snapped the photo, it had hidden in the grass. Wouldn't you if you had such an audience?
Then there was the grasshopper (on the wall next to Bebe Sister). I did not worry about the kids mangling this guy too much - I was more worried about him eating my berry bushes. (Yes, Bebe Sister is running around in just a fitted diaper. She's starting to transition from elimination communication to potty training. And yes, that is one of my original cloth diapers that a long time follower mitchsmom gave me. It has really gotten a lot of use and is still holding up great.)
Then on a park outing, Bebe Sister spotted a giant black ant. Seriously large, although, from the photo it looks like a speck. I love that little pointer finger - my mom often chuckles that it is going to get worn out with as much use as it gets these days.
Then, the greatest find of all. Our first adult preying mantis of the season. For the past couple of years we have not purchased egg sacs but have rather waited to see if any of the off spring of our past mantis residents would be around. Last year we had a good turn out. This year, it has been slow but so many things have been slow to start up so we're hopeful more are to come. This one was only about 3 cm long. Small by our standards. The kids were enthralled. Me, too, actually. Remember Manty who found his way into the diapers and went through the dryer?
After all this bug spying, the kids asked me to make them some bugs they could keep inside. Here is what I came up with. Going with my original statement of "purchase no new yarn but use what I have" I made the larger ladybug. It was huge. I think it would qualify as a small throw pillow. Bebe Sister loves it and has mastered the art of antennae removal. I need to secure those better.
Then I made another smaller ladybug as a gift - alas, I had to purchase some wool for this project so as to avoid another giant ladybug. For the ladybugs I used the same pattern as the turtle except I changed the colors and added spots. The small ladybug is about the size of the turtle. Both large and small are the exact same pattern - just different gauge needle and yarn. The little lady bug seemed so sad all alone that I had to make a bumble bee friend to go along with it. The bumble bee is my own pattern.
I do apologize for the poor quality of these last photos. The only way I can photograph these items is while the kids are asleep. Hence, I lost my natural light. I opted not to use plastic eyes so there would be no concern of choking hazards. (T Rex has become a bit obsessed with choking hazards so he is always reminding me. But he also gets very concerned if something has no eyes - thus, sewed on eyes are our compromise.)
We've also spied several spiders, too. Those, we mostly try to avoid because the kids don't know good from bad. The hobos and black widow spiders are quickly terminated by T Rex Dad. Hobo spiders are very aggressive - once, one was going right for the kids and T Rex Dad smashed it with his bare hand. I could not have imaged him (or anyone else) doing that but I guess I see what happens when something threatens his kids. Other garden spiders and the "jumping" ones we get in the house are relocated outside and are most welcome.
Thank you for joining us spying bugs. How about you - do you like spying bugs?