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Insects & Arachnids

Our Long Wait

Our Long Wait

“You wouldn’t believe how yucky the holly bushes are!” Sheila breezed into our office, bringing with her the silken presence of fresh air. It was still March and the air was chilly, but alive with...

A Giant Among Butterflies

A Giant Among Butterflies

A dab of bird dropping rests on a leaf. It must have landed there when a bird passed over. But wait! It’s moving. It’s not a dropping after all. It is a tiny caterpillar, its coloration acting as a...

Raising Flying Flowers

Raising Flying Flowers

“Stacey, there are three caterpillars on the carrots,” Mom called from the garden. “Great!” I cheered. As soon as the backyard was all neatly mowed, I hastened to the carrot patch to fetch the plump...

What’s for Snack?

What’s for Snack?

Heat waves shimmered across the field. It was another warm day for southeastern United States. Everyone was seeking relief from the midday heat. Inside the house, I was finishing the dishes when I...

Dead, Yet Alive

Dead, Yet Alive

One balmy day during the summer of 2014, my sister and I found a deceased cicada. We deposited it in a Styrofoam container. Then we gifted it with an air freshener, a mothball. After performing...

Creek-bottom Treasures

“¿Listo? Let’s go!” we shouted, heading up a sloping Indian pathway, under a cool canopy of Mexican pines. Binoculars, candy bars, and water canteens swung from our packs and filled our pockets. The...

Hickory Mystery

Hickory Mystery

“Where’s Sparkie?” “She’s over there on that knoll. You don’t have to worry about her. She knows this woods better than we.” Hickory tree. Photo © Stephanie Nicole Castle/Dreamstime.com. “Look at...

Mrs. Bumble

Mrs. Bumble

One hazy April day I went to our garden looking for worms for a tiger salamander we had found the previous fall. As I dug my shovel into the black soil, a yellow object popped out of the ground....

Mr. Worm

Mr. Worm

Cecropia caterpillar. Photo © Kcmatt/Dreamstime.com. The rains had been abundant, the heat even more so. Together, the two had made the hum of the lawn mower as familiar as the droning cicadas...