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Monday, April 23, 2012

Surprising Review Session!

I really did not think I would blog today.  The only 4H event was our weekly Entomology meeting, and the plan was to review before our district contest to take place this weekend.  I guess that is why I did not have my camera with me (so beware of terrible cell phone pics!).

We arrived at our normal meeting location to show off Sean's new flashcards we created.  He was proud of his new method of studying.  However, Mr. Joe had a much bigger surprise for us.  He showed us what appeared to be a group of leaves in balls, but the clusters were MOVING!!!!  He told us that he would tell us what they were when everyone arrived.  Sean was fascinated and watched them while others arrived.

Once all were gathered, he explained that the leave clusters were actually moth cocoons.  About a week ago he happened upon several Luna Moth larvae.  He told us that he has often found larvae from time to time, but NEVER had he seen so many in one place.  He gathered the larvae and allowed them to form their cocoons.  The mass of leaves was used by each larvae to wrap around them during the pupae stage.  The larvae used special secretions to 'glue' the leaves around them.

This is one of the great reason I am so thankful for the boys (and our club members) to have the opportunity to learn from Mr. Joe and Mr Kieth.  They always make things interesting, and try to find new opportunities for the 4Hers.  Which is why I should have had my camera and why I should never assume a review meeting could be simply a review.

Each family was given their own cocoon.  We were told to place in a paper bag and check each day until it emerged.  I have also done my own homework, and I discovered that a Luna Moth usually emerges after two weeks.

I must admit, I am a little nervous.  I have tried numerous times to show the butterfly stages to our children.  I have failed miserably every time.  The children have often called me the butterfly killer.  I do not know why it is so hard for us...others talk about it as if it is a walk in the park.  I just never can do what needs to be done. So, Mr. Joe gave us specific instructions, and sent us on our way.  Sean ensured me that this time we had a moth and all would be OK.  I hope he is right.

Hoping next week, I am able to show you our Luna Moth.

Mr. Joe also surprised the group by releasing a Mourning Cloak toward the end of the class time.  We were all surprised as it fluttered around the room.  What a great way to end our last class of the year!  I did not get a good picture of our specimen but here is a picture of one from the internet.

Once again, a BIG thank you to Mr. Joe and Mr. Keith...they always make it interesting for us all!

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