Thursday, August 9, 2012

A few "pets"

We are a pet-less family. At least for now.
So when my kids find animals, they like to "adopt" them. (Meaning: research, watch and follow them to death and act like they actually now own the rights to that species). Our summer has not been without animal adventures!
Here is our first  to showcase: a little baby pine siskin.
This little guy (or girl or one of its friends) decided to spend some time sitting on little A's head to our surprise a few days ago, and then E found another one here in the tree (below). He could actually reach out and touch it--I'm not sure it was old enough to know it should be afraid of humans. Luckily, this one found my kids, who LOVE animals!
And we have our owl from the creek. We think it is a barred owl (we have seen two together, but there might even be three of them), but E is a little on the fence on this one. His screech seems to mimic a barn owl, but a barred or spotted owl is our best guess from all we have researched. We've taken some extra walks in the creek to visit our friend, and to see the things it likes to eat! (Ew!) We've had some pretty close encounters with it.
Below is a picture from my camera--your plain old point and shoot kind.

And another one from a different day--yah, I'm pathetic. I go out each time we see or hear it to see if I can do any better for a photo. We've had it sit on our back fence before, but then there is no camera around!
These two pictures are sent from our neighbours down the road. He has the cool camera with the specialized settings and the extra lens and all. . .Maybe I can convince my hubby that I NEED one of those cameras!!! Can't I hope for my Canon Rebel for Christmas? :)

And a few from E's bug box. He has been busy collecting caterpillars of all sorts and enlisting the help of others. Here was Opa's contribution one day--he caught it and put it in E's bug box while we were out to surprise him! (This one was taken on my boring old camera--I was kinda impressed with how well it turned out!)
And as you can see (or this explanation will help you see) that beside our butterfly friend (who was released the next day) a cocoon or chrysalis of some sort. You can correct me if I am wrong, but I think this one is a cocoon because it is silky and cotton-like and a chrysalis is more of an opaque hard shell. It came from a black caterpillar with orange spots.
Well that cocoon  (and one other darker coloured one) sat there in its pupa stage for FOREVER! I was ready to scrape them out. This particular white one is actually still sitting there and getting thinner, but the darker one is broken open, because. . .
out came this moth! We haven't quite pinned down what kind it is except that the wings are brown with white spots (and we have a few pictures to go back to and compare for our searching for the exact name!)
In this above photo you can see the cocoons and the moth. We had a big releasing at Grandma's house and by her pond. After it was all done, E decided to announce that he had learned that usually moths and butterflies go back to the place of their emergence to lay eggs. (Glad it wasn't released at our place if that was true!)
And another is on the way--a fuzzy brown caterpillar in a new bug box brought over by Opa. We will see what comes of that!

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