Night Buggin’ Adventures Week of June 20 – June 26, 2021
by Becky Wilson, Environmental Educator
Summer has always been my favorite season. There is so much to see and explore! Every year as my children grow I have the amazing opportunity to experience the joys of summer through their eyes and there’s no better sensory adventure than exploring the world of bugs at night. We have been enjoying bonfires on the cooler nights and love listening to the crickets and katydids sing. It was a very exciting moment when we saw the first fireflies of the season! We’ve been seeing more of them lately and the sight of them flashing through the darkness never fails to bring excitement and memories of catching them when I was a child. We put them in mason jars for a few minutes to get a closer look (make sure there’s air holes on top!) and I was telling my kids about how fireflies communicate in different patterns of flashes, a chemically produced light from their abdomens like Morse code, which led to the discussion of whether that means they talk with their butts. Kids right?!
Fireflies aren’t the only cool bug you can see at night, though. A great way to attract bugs for a close up view is to hang a white sheet and shine a light on it, bam! It’s an instant bug magnet! If you have a field guide handy, you can try to identify the creatures that come to hang out on what we call the magic carpet, or take a picture, jot down a description and email it to us to help at [email protected]! I encourage you to tap into your inner child and explore the wonder of bugs at night! Happy night buggin!