Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Harvest Moon

Wow! Can I just tell you about our day today? What an amazing day for Nature Study for this family!
By Helen Allingham (1848 - 1926)
(The Bridgeman Art Library, Object 283763)
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

First, I woke up this morning and checked the weather only to discover that there was going to be a Harvest Moon tonight! Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox. One reason that it is so special is because the full moonrise that time of year, happens about 30 minutes earlier than normal. This was especially helpful back in the days before electric lights and farmers relied on the extra moonlight to help bring in their harvests. Here is a very interesting read on the Harvest Moon.

Then, as we were gathered around the breakfast table reading our Bible reading for the day, my husband just happened to notice an interesting creature crawling around in a dish. No, it wasn't in his cereal bowl. :)  Last week, the kids and I had gathered some quite magnificent looking acorns. Now, I had heard that "things" can "hatch" out of acorns, so instead of letting the children play with them around the house, they were displayed in my favorite leaf shaped dish on the table along with some other nature finds. I hoped this dish would help contain any unexpected visitors and to my delight, it did! (They didn't hatch with wings and couldn't crawl up the sides.) What are they??? I finished the Bible reading and discussion...then quickly ran to the computer to look up "white grub with brown face in an acorn" and lo and behold: It is an Acorn Weevil! Amazing! It gets even can actually see what we saw!! Check out this video:

(By the way, all the acorns and baby weevils are contained in a ziploc bag for now as my oldest daughter was too creeped by letting them roam freely around in the dish. And, for those interested, 8 larvae have crawled out so far!...I also just learned from a friend that they make good bait for fishing.)

Finally, this afternoon, I took the kids to visit my Dad at his work at a local resort. We were treated to a golf cart ride around the property. Everyone always enjoys this, but at the end of the ride, Dad and I both had bugs flying at us. The next thing I knew, I had an ant crawling in my shirt! Yikes! Minutes later, we began noticing masses of flying ants around different ant holes. They were everywhere friends! Then, we looked up and the masses of flying ants were taking to the skies! It was unbelievable! Everywhere we looked, there were huge masses of flying ants. What was going on?

The first chance I had when I got home (because I don't own a smart phone :)  I again searched the Internet for "masses of flying ants.  I'm very thankful that my Internet worked today. :)  Well, it turns out that we were witnessing the "Nuptial Flight" of the ants. Need I say more? You can quickly figure out what the Nuptial Flight is by reading the linked article from Wikipedia.

OK. Are you not in awe of how amazing our Creator is?!  Wow!
Thank you Nature Study! Now to make a date with my Nature Journal...