Posts Tagged ‘butterflies’

My daughter (our oldest daughter) is visiting with her four children She purchased cheap butterfly nets for her kids and they came home ready to hunt, especially the one child interested in Natural History. Of course, it was hot and few insects were out and about, except the honeybees and bumblebees.

The Naturalist among the four caught a miller (moth) in the grass, and I identified it to him. He wanted only to return it to the wild, so I let him. They (two grandsons) continued the “hunt”. They knew not to hunt bees or wasps, and as it was hot, not many other insects were out.

Then there was the pale Tiger Swallowtail that dipped into the milkweed garden. A sudden, “Grandma! I got one!”

J. held the net over the butterfly. It, being a cheap Dollar Store net, was not one you could turn and capture the insect. But I wanted minimal damage done to the butterfly, so I put my hand under the net and allowed the butterfly to grasp onto my hand. I folded my thumb over iy so it couldn’t fly, but in a way that did not harm its wings.

J. gently lifted the net away and looked at our beauty. I know he saw what I saw” the beautiful abdomen, the wings, the delicate scales. I offered to let him hold the butterfly, but he declined – in part, I think, out of his innate respect for the insect. When we talked later, he understood about he fragility of the scales on the wings of a butterfly and how you don’t want to damage that.

I knew the butterfly: a pale tiger swallowtail. That was enough for J. he didn’t want to keep it a prisoner, only to know what it was.

This kid also picks the wild black-cap raspberries I grow in my yard and devours them. He talks about needing “mementos” to “remember this vacation”. He’s collected a maple leaf, rattlesnake buttons, an arrowhead, and a ceramic frog (which may be replaced it he catches a real snake or frog and gets a shed skin or…). He’s my Naturalist child.

He’s the one who will remember raspberries in the same way that I remember my Great Uncle Frank and my Great Aunt Gert (not related): for the raspberries. But his siblings will remember it, also, for the lessons in Natural History. They just don’t realize it now.

Teach your children well.


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