Last year, Lizzy had a blast collecting 'pillars with friends in the neighborhood. She's really excited that the wee guys are back!
We have a tree on the side of our house that we're not wild about -- if it was even planted intentionally, it's outgrown its aesthetic quality, and is just rather tall and weird-looking. Our friendly neighborhood arborist told us what it was a few days ago, and I already have forgotten -- some sort of cherry, I think? In any case, the caterpillars are wild about it. They have set up their little tents all over that tree, and right now the tents are a mass of squirming little fuzzy dudes. It's actually kind of gross. I've very little understanding of the tent caterpillar life cycle, so I'm not sure what they're doing. Not quite big enough to leave the, er, hive yet? We've seen a few that have ventured beyond the tree, but not many. Any day now, though.
Two evenings ago, we managed to find two adventuresome individuals, and Lizzy excitedly had me stick them in her insect keeper thingie that we got her last year. She named them Friday (her 'favorite day of the week') and Chuck ('a cool guy's name'). We swapped out the first Friday and Chuck for a second Friday and Chuck last night so that they wouldn't die during their stay in our house. Or that was the idea.
It's so weird how the driveway/house exterior/fence/etc. is crawling with them for a couple of weeks, and then ... they go away. Where, I'm not sure. But now I know that they're certain to come back next year. Er, unless we do get rid of that tree.
The other thing Lizzy is longing to collect this week are 'kooky pens.' It's the sudden rage of her classroom. They're these stubby little pens that I've seen sold at Borders for four bucks apiece (I now see online that they're everywhere -- who knew) that have a clip -- her classmates clip them onto their belt buckle loops -- and rubbery fuzzy hair and individual names on the back. She borrowed one called 'Romeo' from a friend last night. If I don't come home with a kooky pen tonight, I'm not sure I'll be allowed in the door, as far as she's concerned.