Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Bubby's going on a field trip to the zoo.

I remember when 7 year old MC went on this field trip to the zoo.  The zoo had a butterfly pavilion at the time, with hundreds of butterflies flitting about, which the kids were planning to walk through.  I wasn't able to go along on the trip, but I remember warning Mrs. W that MC was extremely likely to freak out.  I knew this, because we had been to the zoo a few weeks prior, and MC flat-out refused to go inside the butterfly pavilion.  She promised to keep him close, and I think she said he did fine, but I wonder if she was just saying that to make me feel better about not being able to be there.  She's considerate like that (love her.  I really do).

In November, I went with 11 year old MC and his 6th grade classmates to the science museum, where there was another butterfly exhibit.  Turns out my kid is not the only one who freaks out in the presence of hundreds of winged insects flitting about in an enclosed space.

This morning Bubby was telling me about the upcoming field trip, and he mentioned that they were going to see walking sticks, if they could find any.

Now, in case you're thinking to yourself, "walking sticks?  Why would they go to a zoo to see walking sticks?  Wouldn't a hiking trail be a better location for that?  And why do they want to see walking sticks, anyway?  What's educational about walking sticks?"

Let me reassure you that he was talking about the 6-legged, 3 body-parted creature that looks a little something like this:

Walking Stick Photo
{Walking Stick courtesy of 10 Degrees Above}
The field trip includes a class about insects.

I asked Bubby if he had ever seen a walking stick, and he replied that yes, he had, in books. It makes me sad that Bubby has never seen an actual walking stick, because they're really pretty cool.  When we lived in West Virginia, they were everywhere.  "Like, you were surrounded?" he asked.  Yes, that about covers it. 

Then I told him that once, I saw a praying mantis eating a walking stick.  In my flower pot.  By the way, is it praying, because they look like they're praying, or preying because they use those modified front legs to prey on their food?  It's a clever little play on words, there.  Mantises were much less common, but also very cool to see.
{Praying mantis courtesy of Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo}
From there, we went off to predator and prey relationships, and since we were in West Virginia with the walking sticks, I told Bubby about the time I saw a rattle snake eating a frog in our back yard.  Yeah.  About 20 feet from the back door.  At the time, it was traumatizing because the snake had captured one leg and the back end of the frog, so his head and 3 legs were sticking out and the poor little guy was croaking despairingly, and trying to hop away.  And yes, I did spend a few minutes trying to think of a way to rescue the frog before I realized, um, that's a poisonous snake there, and if you mess with her food, she's not going to be happy.  Also, the frog was going to die, either way.

This morning, as I was recounting the story to Bubby, it struck me just how close that poisonous snake was to our house, and how not freaked out I was by having poisonous snakes near my children.  What?  How was I able to maintain calm in an environment that contained poisonous rattle snakes and copperheads?  Like seriously.  I'm not exactly sure how I was ever able to let my children out of my sight.  Maybe I didn't.  Maybe that's why I was (and still am) so tired.

{Itty bitty AKD sitting, oh, about 5 feet from where the snake eats frog incident occurred.
Not at the same time.}
This morning, Bubby informed me that the snake should have eaten that frog head first, so the frog couldn't see what was coming.  It's, like, the first rule of predation or something.  Every predator should know that.

In conclusion, there is no conclusion, just a pleasant walk down memory lane that includes life and death and poison.  You know, the usual :)

1 comment:

  1. I doubt my kids have seen a walking stick or a prayering mantis "in the wild". They have seen them in various zoo-like venues, though.

    I only remember seeing them wild in Michigan.

    ReplyDelete

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