Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Bug's Life (in our home)

A few weeks ago I showed the kids how you can take a bug (bigger is better) put them in a container and then freeze them and then thaw them.  Greta's mom (a teacher) wasn't a believer and there were skeptics throughout the house - so I HAD to do the experiment immediately. 

We found this 'buzzy bee' that was the size of your thumb (the fat part) and we put him in a glass and then into the fridge.  It didn't seem to be cold enough there - so we put him in the freezer.  Sure enough, he stopped buzzing and walking around the glass.  See the frozen bee below in the wine glass.

April08 005

It turns out that it takes a while for this size a bee to thaw out.  In the meantime, you can prod and poke them - but no one dared to touch this week.  I gave him a few swirls around the glass just to prove that he was indeed asleep.  The whole time the girls sit and watch with Piper asking in the sweetest voice 'is he seeping' and I said yes, he's sleeping (she says seeping). 

After about 15 minutes of staring at the glass, the bee's legs start to twitch, his wings give a buzz and he wiggles a little.  After about a total of 18-20 mins, he's back to buzzing around like a fool.  You can repeat the process depending how long you want to occupy your kids.  But wait there's more...

April08 004

Near our home there are a lot of ladybugs - all over the place, I don't know why, but there are.  The girls now like to find bugs and mess with them.  Piper who isn't very gentle will find ants and pick them up and then will walk over to me with a smashed ant on her finger asking if the buggy is sleeping (seeping)?  Sometimes I say yes and other times I say that no, he's dead.  She just looks at it and says 'he's dead' - I don't think it matters to her.  She also thinks all bugs are happy.  I know that the bugs she generally meets are not happy after a few minutes. 

Sada found a ladybug last weekend but it was dead.  I told her it was dead but she wanted to put it in a little glass bowl with a cover so he wouldn't escape.  I told her he wouldn't and could live in the bowl without a cover because if they're happy they won't leave.  She'll carry the dead ladybug around the bowl and he lives in the bowl on her nightstand.  Sometimes she'll let Piper carry the dead ladybug in the small glass bowl around the house.  He sometimes falls out but they just put him back in the blow.  This morning the ladybug's head fell off.  This didn't bother Sada much and she though that he was just thirsty and that perhaps with some water his head would get better.  So now, there is a well hydrated headless ladybug on Sada's nightstand.  


Kelly said...

i totally understand where your daughters are coming from. im glad they have dead, headless, bug friends

Sarah said...

I'm not sure what to think. You let your daughters carry around headless dead bugs. You teach them to freeze bugs. You let them mutilate bugs.

Then again...that's what being a kid is all about.

At least they LIKE TO PLAY WITH BUGS!! That is HUGE! Hopefully that means when they get older they won't be girly-girls like my sister and SHRIEK when they see a bug.

Courtenay said...

aack! you took down the iphone ensemble post before i could make fun of you and remind you about the time you accused me of cop-out posting!

i have a sister who freaks out about bugs too. one time in hawaii she stepped on a slug. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!

Greta said...

i hope to eventually graduate the girls to having a 'critter box'. That's what i used to call my big box of bugs as a kid. mine was made out of a shoe box and i kindly wrapped the top in saran wrap, fixing it tight around the top with a rubber band and some air holes. of course now you can buy big bug carnival parks inside a plastic box all equipped with wheels for them to play on. do you think bugs prefer to be entertained like this? do they know they are in a special place and do they make little buggy friends? this all started back with my mom when, on a small army base in Utah, she collected various sized beetles by dosing them with formaldehyde and pinning them to styrofoam. one day she heard a scratching in her closet where she kept all of her buggies. what she found there was one of the bigger beetles she caught, a pin stuck through its' middle, walking along the styrofoam eating all of the other beetles. good times.

Dalai Mama said...

I used to do the freezer thing with lizards and open them up with my scalple and then wait for the heart to start beating a bit and then sew it up with dental floss and send them on their way. My mom thought I would be a doctor someday... what a disappointment I was! :-)

Christine said...

ahhhhhhhahahahaha i can totally see piper saying seeping. i squished a spider on my rearvieww mirror this morning...at least they wont need boys to squish or remove bugs for them. my sster still freaks and has me 'remove' bugs for her.

you might want to teach them friendy vs unfriendly bugs and bugs that are allowed in the house and ones that arent... just a thought.

Sarah said...

Ooooooh, I JUST REMEMBERED THIS WEBSITE!!! You and Greta must share this with them!

It's called "What's That Bug?" It's the COOLEST bug website ever. People send in photos of bugs (that they haven't killed - they often either take photos of them outside or if captured indoors, take photos and then release them outside) that they can't figure out the names of and then the kind folks of WTB figure it out.

Here's the website: http://www.whatsthatbug.com/index.html

I love all this bug talk.

I like the question Greta posed...like...do bugs really care if they're in a shoebox vs. a pet store-purchased bug carnival? Do they know the difference? Do they make bug friends?

I think Christine has a point too, about nice bugs vs. mean ones.

I LOVE IT! Now excuse me while I go visit WTB...

Rory said...

This is such a good post, that I will link to your website.