The Joys of Homeschooling (for kids), part #2593: BUGS and SPIDERS

Had it not been for the rain that pervaded the entire Central Kentucky area this morning, our activities today would have included something as wonderful as catching Monarch butterflies to tag and then release to continue on their merry way.   Doesn’t that sound lovely?

Alas, we woke up to grey skies and a chilly wind, and by the time we arrived at the UK Arboretum around 9:00 this morning, the rain had begun to fall.  The entomologist in charge informed us that, because the air was too cool for the Monarchs to fly, plans for the presentation had changed.  We discussed the amazing qualities of Monarch butterflies for a while and saw some intriguing pictures of them congregated on tree branches while in their migration process.

But that only took about ten minutes or so.

The entomologists there probably thought that hadn’t been enough to justify the trip out–especially in the rain.  So they pulled out plan B:  the dangerous insects and spiders collection.

I’m not exactly anti-bug, but…well, wait a minute.  Yes I am.   Why bother pretending? I don’t enjoy bugs, spiders, or anything that creeps, crawls, scurries, or scampers.  The legs and hair really creep me out.

It’s amazing what we do for our kids.  The bug man started pulling out his specimens and all the kids watched with rapt attention.  As he walked around with a tarantula (I can’t beleive an arachnid that large was a foot from my lap!), a scorpion, a Black Widow, and a small village’s worth of Madagascar cockroaches, the kids were all intent on getting a good close look.   I was relieved that they were excited and not fearful of the little–and not so little!–creepies.

After he’d finished showing off his cache, he concluded the program and invited the children to come closer to check things out or even go outside to see the Monarchs they had under cover.  From this point on, most of our kids really enjoyed their time at the arb!  The pictures below include Andrew and Patrick with some friends of theirs totally enjoying their time with the roaches.  Blech.  I will say that I was happy to be the photographer so there was no worry that I’d be asked to touch anything that moved.  Ben also held the humongous insects, but I didn’t catch any good shots with him.  Brendan was wholly uninterested in feeling one in his hand.   Andrew, however, couldn’t walk away.  We practically had to peel him from the table!  Maybe we have a budding entomologist in the family?


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