Saturday, October 31, 2009

Saving Isabella: A wooly bear for the winter

We own a fun nature book for children (which I would credit but I loaned it to a friend and don't have the name on hand), and there's a page that gives directions for keeping a wooly bear catapillar over the winter.
What fun!So we're giving it a try.
The wooly bear is the fun fall version of the Isabella Tiger Moth which emerges in the spring. For years I've never taken the time to know this. For me, the wooly bear meant one thing: how hard of a winter we were going to have.
I remember as a kid seeng how many I could collect and making my own predictions about the winter-- long before we had the power of the internet and computer forecasters to tell us all in detail and in every form of media.
But now, they are just catapillars that we can hold. Fuzzy and non-poisonous, after reading the how-to in our book, we kept one this year.
Here's the basic how-to...
1. Find a wooly bear in the fall. That's RIGHT NOW!!
2. Store it in a plastic jar with a top that you've drilled holes in, and keep the jar outside and out of direct weather. Ours sits right out our back door under the covered part of our porch.
3. Put in a few twigs and a few blades of grass.
4. Change the grass every day, and as we've found, dump out the catapillar poo. (You'll be amazed-- trust me.)
5. Eventually the little critter will appear to die and curl up on the bottom. He's sleepng. Shhhh!
6. Wait until spring when you see some action from your awakening wooly bear. Continue to feed it fresh grass.
That's our plan. Stay tuned for updates on our little friend!

2 comments:

Loren Christie said...

He's so cute! (Yes, I am serious.)

Kate Starr said...

I am thankful there are women like you out there. Teaching your children that nature is tangible, but you lost me on the wooly bear poo... :)

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
This page and all its content are copyright 2006-2010 Karrie McAllister.