I have a very small garden this year, but have been blessed with numerous zucchini, squash and tomatoes. The tomatoes are so sweet my mother and I have been eating them as fruit. Well truly, tomatoes are fruit anyway!
I was so very fortunate to spend an entire week with my 7 year old granddaughter. We had so much fun, and I could share with you pictures of us swimming in the pool, or playing Mah Jong, or even playing school with all of her stuffed buddies as students in the class, but instead, I will share with you two interesting creatures we discovered during our time digging! Digging and exploring is by far my granddaughter's favorite activity.
It is a good thing I had my little insect expert along the day I discovered this guy. I thought it was so pretty and might have attempted to pick it up for closer inspection, but I was quickly alerted to the fact that it was a "cow killer!" These pretty red insects might not look like wasps, but they are and their stings could send you to the hospital they are so painful.
Below is Wikipedia's definition.
The Mutillidae are a family of more than 3,000 species of wasps (despite the names) whose wingless females resemble large, hairy ants. Their common namevelvet ant refers to their dense pile of hair which most often is bright scarlet or orange, but may also be black, white, silver, or gold. Black and white specimens are sometimes known as panda ants due to their hair coloration resembling that of the giant panda. Their bright colors serve as aposematic signals. They are known for their extremely painful stings, hence the common name cow killer or cow ant. Unlike real ants, they do not have drones, workers, and queens. However, velvet ants do exhibit haplodiploid sex determination similar to other members of the Hymenoptera, including Vespoidea.
Even when shopping at the mall you might discover some interesting creatures if you are alert to your surroundings. Crawling just past us on a wall, we discovered a "blue - tailed skink!" A skink is in the lizard family and by reading on Wikipedia (below) we learned that their coloring is a survival trait.
The conspicuous coloring is a survival trait: it attracts a predator’s attention to the tail of the animal, which will break off when grabbed. A skink thus often manages to escape and hide under some rock, log, or fallen leaves while the predator still contemplates the wildly thrashing severed tail. (This is an instance of what is called autotomy: voluntarily shedding a body part in order to escape, and later regenerating the body part.) After the tail regenerates, it usually has the same color as the rest of the body and is typically shorter than the original tail. In some species, regrown tails are pinkish. A regrown tail has a cartilaginous rod for support instead of vertebrae.
Each day was a wonderful adventure with Miss A.
If you have the opportunity to spend time with a child, indulge yourself and for whatever time you are able to share, be a kid and immerse yourself in the delight they take in the little wonders of the world. You'd be amazed at what a child can teach you!