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Here are Some Reasons to Appreciate Nature

June 18, 2013

Here are Some Reasons to Appreciate Nature

As a kid I used to run around swamps and nature preserves with a butterfly net in hopes of catching a new species I had never seen.  Yes, I was weird and still am.  After the  moth pictured below landed on me last night while walking my dog a lot of memories were triggered.  I can remember catching a massive caterpillar in the fall as it was making it’s cocoon.  I took a bunch of leaves from the tree it was just starting to go to work on, placed them in a Mott’s applesauce jar along with the branch it had attached to and watched it begin the transformation that I’ll never forget.

Pink Spotted Hawk Moth

I sat all winter long watching the webbed mass that it had created, hoping that someday soon it would hatch.  Than one day in late spring before school I heard noises and shuffling coming from the jar.  It was one of the last weeks of class and when I got home that day my mom was waiting at the bus stop so we could hurry back without missing it.  While I was gone at school at school it had begun to work itself out of the cocoon and begin to emerge.  It slowly climbed to the rim of the jar and we placed it on a sunny fence post and watched in amazement for the next couple of hours as it pumped fluids into its wings and started to slowly flap them.  Finally, a gust of wind came and it took flight, disappearing into the tree tops to start the whole cycle over again.  Below this species is featured in both stages of life…..

If we’re losing somewhere around two hundred species per day globally, and we’re adding 250,000 humans per day it’s not long before sights like this become distant memories like mine.  If you have kids, tell them about things like this.  Show them that there is so much going on all around us, you just have to stop to look for it.  I found this out on my own, but like I said I was and still am weird!

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Agrius-cingulata

Cecropia Silk Moth

Caterpillar

3 Comments
  1. I am weird also! As a child there was a big field of milk weed near my house. Us kids would take monarch cocoons home and watch them open. We’d also collect jars of lightning bugs. I hardly see monarchs and the lightning bug population has dwindled. Grr. Can we just stop using pesticides! ?

    • I think it’s also the unabated development that has happened, especially the fake housing boom. In Lake Forest, at the corner of 43 and Rt 60 there is a giant field that used to have all sorts of native plants and a small portion of the ecosystem that was once there. Obviously , it had been damaged as there were two major highways right next to it, but it was still something. About ten years ago they tore it up, put drain tile under it that runs to the Middlefork river, and created a series of soccer fields. Such a shame, there’s almost no biodiversity left, and we replaced it with something that guzzles copious amounts of water in the summer.

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