Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I bought a few books just about a week or so ago. I didn't bother to share them on the blog--I buy a lot of books, at a lot of used bookstores, and this would quickly become a book blog if I posted about all the books I buy. Anyway, I happened to be in the plants/animals section of the store (I have no idea why, guess I was just wandering or something) and came across a book I thought I'd read a long time ago, "My Family and Other Animals" by Gerald Durrell. Breezing through the pages, I came across the mother/baby scorpion dinner table fiasco and immediately knew it was in fact the book I had read back when. Obviously I bought the book and I intend to read it again sometime soon. It's a hilarious story about a young budding naturalist and his eccentric family, all of whom are living in Greece...really good for a laugh, but fascinating at the same time! You can read more about it over here. My point in all this (besides making a book recommendation)...sometimes it feels just a bit like that book around here--not as regards the eccentric family part (I don't think...), but rather the whole naturalist/insects in boxes bit. Just this past weekend, I found a fishfly in the pool (and don't worry I didn't take any pictures of it, but if you're really interested and not too squeemish you can see one here.) As it turns out they're a fascinating insect--they live in the water most of their life and only get wings and fly for about 2-3 days before dying. This one was dying at the time of discovery, was protected from the ants (anxious to carry him away), and when he had expired was promptly saved in an empty gerber baby food container. He'll be joining my mother's collection of other interesting dead bugs (who, no need to worry, all died from natural causes). At one point I would have thought this was all kind of gross, but I find I'm starting to warm up to bugs. I'm starting to pay attention to plants and animals a lot more too. And I can only attribute this developing interest to my girls. They're fascinated with everything--nothing outside is too small, too gross (okay except slugs, the girls have decided those are gross), or too boring for them. Every little bug, every little plant--they can't get enough of them. And as I crouch down on the ground with my camera and look at the world close up the way they do, I'm discovering what a fascinating world it is too.I'm thinking the girls I might just have to start our own dead bug collection sometime soon...
(...oh and those pictures are of a great spangled fritillary butterfly, a northern cloudywing skipper, and some sunflowers!)

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