dark brown velvety mothThe boys found a cocoon which we kept for a couple of weeks. I almost forgot about it. Then, one evening, I noticed this beautiful moth had appeared, perhaps because it was so warm in our house. We released it outside.

Remember the mealworm project?

The mealworm habitat we started with was a cardboard shoebox. This worked fine at first, but after several days we began to have escapees. They never made it very far away from the box and as far as we know, we found every one and put them all back. At first, I just put the shoebox in a bigger cardboard box to catch the escaping mealworms. That was a temporary solution at best because according to our research it could take a month or longer for them to turn into beetles. So they needed to be re-homed.

We gave them a new secure container with fresh wheatbran. Young Son gently picked out each one and placed it in its new home. Just one looked distinctly like it was changing into pupa form. There are also many empty mealworm skins. Apparently they shed their skins several times as they grow before turning into pupas.

small brown salamander
A few days later, I discovered this cute little guy or girl in the yard. I was pulling up some dandelion leaves to feed the bunnies when I saw it under a dandelion. This was tricky, because I get nervous around wiggly, slimy, fast-moving things. But wearing garden gloves and using a big plastic shovel, I managed to scoop it up and put in a container. We kept it for one day, giving it dandelions to climb on and little bugs and worms to eat. It was just about three inches long, little guy (or girl). The kids named it Climber, because it climbed up the sides of the container with sticky feet. Is it a salamander?

We released it back into the yard after one day, back to freedom… thanks for visiting, little Climber!

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