Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bugs and Burgers

The Wookie and I were on vacation this past week and went for a couple of minor hikes/walks with Dad. Dad normally skates during the week for exercise and does some walking but the "little darlings" as he likes to call them, had hockey camps all week making the ice unavailable. Since I had taken Dad on two hikes the previous Saturdays, he wanted to continue during the week.

My two favourite men:

I also spent a little time this week checking out bugs under the microscope including the unnoticed emergence of Bea Ware, my Warehouse Beetle larva, as an adult. It took 19 months for something to transform from the larval stage, which is not typical, but not unusual. It had shed it's outer skin several times (like 9 or 10) before finally growing up and into a mature beetle.

I took a closer look at moth and butterfly wings and was quite surprised at the amount of "hair" on these things. I was able to see some of the scales as well. The scales are powdery colours that easily come off on your fingers if you touch the wings of butterflies.

I've had this tiny moth-like creature for several weeks now, not sure exactly what it is. It's antenna was more like a butterfly, but I've been unable to corretly identify it so far. I'll have to send off a picture to the curator of zoology at the Museum of Natural History in Halifax and he might be able to help me.

On our hike Thursday I took home a thistle to take a closer look. They have the same "hook" structure as burrs which allows them to stick to everything they come into contact with. It is this hook structure that inspired NASA scientists to come up with Velcro.

Earlier this week, A and W had a Cruise In for a Cause fundraiser for the MS Society of Canada. Locally, we had a number of volunteers at different locations and I put in an appearance at one of their stores. As well, Mom and I were interviewed by one of the TV stations for a story about MS and family support. That story ran the night before the fundraiser and was tied in to the A and W, as they are branded as a "family" restaurant.

I've been trying to catch up on blogs this week and get some sorely needed organizing done (closets, cupboards). With time available to me now and the heatwave finally broken (as of last Tuesday), I have started to get into it. But first, I'm off to inspect a construction site to make sure they're not disturbing a pond I discovered last April. They've covered over a bit of the outflow area and I'm not impressed. I need to see if they're diverted the outflow from that pond. And if I find a few creatures of the six legged variety, that'll be a bonus.


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