Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What Little Girls Are Made Of

Two of my three kids bring the Outdoors in... and it's not my boys. It's Big Brother and Little Sister (middle brother Teddy tends not to bring me bugs--he'd rather go fast.  At seven he asked me whether Jr. High was 'grown up', and could he have a motorcycle...).

It's in the washing machine...
Yesterday Cici came bombing in the door shouting that her school hat was stinky.

Why?  ( I even ask?)

Because it was filled with dirt, leaves and Dangomushi.  *Naturally*.

Armidillidium vulgare... terrestrial crustaceans

These little guys-- did you play with these when you were a kid, too?

I did, but the Japanese name for them is so appropriate that  I had to look them up on Wiki to find out what the common English name was-- oh yeah!  Pill bugs.  Roly Polies.

Dango-- the kind you can eat
The Japanese name is "Dango--Mushi"... a Dango Bug, because they roll up into a small sphere like a Dango-- which seems more appropriate than 'pill bug', since pills are usually flat discs and not spheres.  Roly Poly works fine,though, and since it's a cute word, I think I'll use that word instead.  Maybe I'll remember it that way...

Papilio xuthus... Agehachou, Swallowtail butterfly

Aack-- lack of transition!

Here-- look at this butterfly...

*intermission music*

...the other day she came bombing in the door demanding a cucumber.


I hafta feed the snail!!

Ah... of course.  I see. *gets cucumber and knife*

Den den, mushi mushi, Katatsumuri... Mr. Snail

...or Miss Snail... Mrs.?

How in the world does one determine marital status in snails?

You don't suppose I subconsciously encourage this behavior in my children, do you?


  1. "You don't suppose I subconsciously encourage this behavior in my children, do you?"

    Umm... Yes?

    Is the pill bug what I'd call a woodlouse, or is there a difference?

  2. My sister had entire circuses of roly polys.

    I've actually never seen a snail close up, though at our girl scout community service this past Sat, someone found a big slug on a stick and handed it to me. I held it at arms length but most of the girls came right up and petted it and were fascinated. Sage was mildly interested a moment but the dirt itself was what she wanted to play with. We were helping plant a memorial garden at our local cultural center.

  3. that snail is huge!!! And also awesome. i kind of want him...

  4. Is "Den den, mushi mushi, Katatsumuri" from a song? If so, I need to learn that song. That snail is indeed awesome!

    I remember Roly Polies, and I haven't seen any lately. BTW, Dennis saw the summer's first firefly or lightning bug (Which name do you prefer?) last night.

  5. With most land snails it's very easy... they are both! They are true hermaphrodites. The snail Cici found looks like a type of pulmonate snail, so it's MrMrsMiss Snail. has some snail pr0n ;-) for all to see.

  6. Woodlouse = pill louse (or pill bug), Armadillidium vulgare. In the old days, pills would be made up by your friendly local pharmacist with his brass pill-making contraption, and spheres is the shape they were. Or so I'm told.

  7. Oh man, I wish I'd had a mother like you!

  8. Lovely that you are so encouraging to their development & love of nature! They look like Armadillium genus... the butterfly is a swallowtail. Butterflies are seriously declining in England - really in my lifetime - we used to see lots of peacocks & red admirals as well as cabbage whites, now they are much rarer. The snail?

  9. And fab Flickr pics too now!

  10. Thanks Roy.

    Dom, we still get cabbage whites round our way, though not nearly as many as in my youth. I think the last time I saw a red admiral alive was about 20 years ago. According to UK Butterflies, they're still fairly common in the south, but if so the little rascals are avoiding Somerset...

  11. Daz-- hi:-) Yup-- pillbug=woodlouse (Roy got there first-- thanks Roy!:-)). Guilty as charged, Daz--guilty as charged. It was me that caught the frog...*hangs head, blushes*

    Roy-- really? Did not know that about pills! Makes sense, though, since I think of a sweater 'pilling' into small balls. Ah--the fun things you guys know:-)

  12. Alice-- circuses of roly polys...makes me smile just to think about that:-)) Biggest slugs I've ever seen are out in Portland--they get so much rain they have *huge* slugs. Well on its way to becoming something of a city mascot...

  13. Sarah-- snail was really huge! And so cute--sticking his ... eyes?... antennae?... out, looking this way and that, and up and down.

  14. Cary-- yes! "Den den, mushi mushi, katatsumuri" is indeed a cute kids' song:-)) Cici loves that song-- I'll find a good recording of it and also the gu-choki-pa finger game and put those up!

    I always said "lightening bug" for some reason-- there are hardly any here because there's so little clean water in ponds for them to breed in. :-(( Sad--the Japanese love "hotaru", which figure into a good many woodblock prints. Catching them was a favorite activity of the aristocracy...

  15. Monika-- aha!! Thank you! I knew somebody would know and tell me before I could get around to looking it up:-)) Koshi's "taking care of bugs and animals" book says that when "snails get married, either one can lay eggs". It just slays me that they put it like that:-))

  16. Jerry-- most people would think I'm not a very good mom, I think. I can, however, make good apple pie:-))

  17. Dominic-- thanks! Enjoy the Flikr pics anytime:-)) Are butterflies really declining?? Pollution? Loss of habitat? Habitat fragmentation? All of the above?