Do you remember this little girl. She has been in my posts many times before. My little next door neighbor, Audra.
As I was walking around my house yesterday, I heard her calling to me..."Come see what I have," she said. I walked over to her side of the fence and there she was clutching her little treasure. A tiny white pine tree. She told me that they received these little trees in school...to plant for Earth Day. She told me that her Dad had sent her out to find a perfect spot for this little tree. I told her the story of my house in another town. They planted white pines all across the lot in back on Arbor Day, as it was called in days past. The trees took hold and were huge, when we bought the house. I told her that these little trees are very tough and with a little care they will grow very big. She asked for my help, which I was eager to do. We walked all around her yard, trying to find just the right spot. It gave me a chance to tell her a bit about trees and where they like to be planted. It had to be a spot away from other trees. A place that it would be safe from kids playing ball. A place near a water source, so that it could be watered easily in dry weather. Not too close to buildings or fences. we looked and looked and I gave her my pick of spots. She said she had to think about it some more and told me she would call me over when it was planted.
While we were walking she saw a cocoon in the tree growing through the fence. I told her that caterpillars lived inside of it. "Look, you can see them wiggleing around inside." she said. Looking further, she found a caterpiller on the ground. She asked if they bite and I told her no.. She picked it up and let it wiggle in her hand. I thought they were bag worms, but in checking the internet I found that they are:(from the internet)
The Eastern tent caterpillar (Malacosoma americanum) is a univoltine, social species that forms communal nests in the branches of trees. It is sometimes confused with the gypsy moth, or the fall webworm and may be erroneously referred to as a bagworm which is the common name applied to unrelated caterpillars in the family Psychidae. The moths oviposital most exclusively on trees in the plant family Rosaceae, particularly cherry (Prunus) andapple (Malus). The caterpillars are hairy with areas of blue, white, black and orange. The blue and white colors are structural colors created by the selective filtering of light by microtubulesthat arise on the cuticle.
This tree just happened to be a chokecherry tree. I told her to put it back on the cocoon and we would walk away for a while...then come back and see if he went into his home.
We did and the caterpillar went back in...she could see him wiggling..the others were asleep. She giggled..."You know everything," she said.
We walked around the pond and she threw earthworms to the fish. She likes to see the Koi race to grab a worm. She pointed out the tadpoles and the baby fish. We saw the big bull frog sitting on a shiny, wet, rock. I said, "There's the guy that keeps me awake all night." She giggled again. When I had to leave she said, "What's this Earth Day all about?" I told her that the world we live in is precious and we are here to take the best care of it we can. If we don't it will be gone. Everyone has a part in taking care...even you little kids. Just simply picking up that gum wrapper and putting it in your pocket is a way to keep our world clean. I loved our time together...it reminded me of days past, when my little two and three year old grandsons and I would take a "nature hike" and have talks while noticing the natural world.