Looking for Details
We stumbled upon a massive caterpillar in our yard in the fall, and the boys were immediately intrigued by it’s unique features. This green, furry, spotted creature, with little crown-like horns on its head, started an impromptu weekend science lesson as we studied its details.
Discovery in the Details
- First, we talked about what we noticed right away: bright green, white polka dots, and long white fur.
- Next, we took a second look, and found black rings around the white spots and pointy yellow horns. How many spots? How many segments? How many horns? How many legs?
- What else? Do you see the tiny yellow dots on the end? And, if you look really close, the horns look like spiral conch shells.
We compared its size to the size of our hands.
- Then, just when we thought we’d seen it all, we noticed its companion a few branches up. Why is it a different color?
Taking a moment to observe the details of a simple, beautiful creature sparks curiosity in my kids, which in turn causes them to want to learn more.
After a search in the field guide, we think it is an Imperial moth (Eacles imperialis).
Sometimes, the kids pull out their nature journals and draw their discoveries, and sometimes we just take pictures. Either way, the act of observing the details, asking questions, and exploring keeps the joy of learning alive.Share this: