Insects (by DQ)

Hi, Guys! It's DQ, and I am going to be sharing a few of my thoughts on catching your own insects, raising them, displaying them, and eating them.

     So, to get started, I am going to start off by first telling you how to catch your own insects, and what to feed them.

     When you are going to catch butterflies, you are going to be needing a net (I use a nice, long, fishing net, which is very inexpensive!) and a butterfly "home". I just use a butterfly "netted" cage, which can be purchased on Amazon. Links are below this article.
     To catch butterflies, you will need to use quietness and swiftness as your motto. These two steps are crucial to catching our four-winged friends.
     If your soon-to-be butterfly is resting on the ground, or on a stationary object (such as flowers, leaves, etc.) then your capturing will be easy. All you have to do is creep up quietly behind the butterfly, until you are a full nets-reach from the butterfly. Simply swing your net over the butterfly, and wah-lah! You have caught your first butterfly. However, if your butterfly is on a tree or flying in mid air, then you are going to have to be a bit more aggressive. If your butterfly is flying, then get close up to it, and then swing the net over it, till the net hits the ground. This strategy takes practice, but can be accomplished. You will be doing the same if your butterfly is on a tree.
     What am I to feed my butterfly? Well, butterflies are nectar-drinkers, so it's time to make your own nectar! The recipe is below.

                  Butterfly Nectar:
      3 Tablespoons sugar
      1 cup water
           Mix ingredients together till sugar is dissolved. Store in refrigerator for 1 week.

     To serve to your butterflies, dip cotton balls into the nectar and place in their habitat. You may also cut fresh flowers from your garden for your butterflies to enjoy. A variety of butterflies enjoy the sweet nectar of Zinnias. A picture is below.

                                             A gorgeous, purple-pink Zinnia

     Now, I am not a fan of killing insects, and I absolutely can't bear to see anything killed. (Except snakes...) However, I do LOVE collecting insects to pin to my Insect-Display board. Now, I do not KILL the insects that lie on my board, but rather, I scout the ground for them! This is hard to do, but can be accomplished. Most of the time, I'm not even looking for them, when, low and behold, there lies a dead, Cecropia Moth! I'm always so thrilled and thankful to God when I find such rare finds. (Rare for me, at least!) One thing that I like to do, though, is that whenever I find a dead insect, I praise God, and then look up the name of it. This can be hard, but, never give up! Sooner or later your insect's name will appear! Once you find out its name, write it down on a thin sheet of paper and pin it underneath your insect, onto your board. I always find this extremely helpful when looking up information of that certain insect, and need its name.

     I LOVE photography, and LOVE taking pictures of insects! But, Entomology Photography CAN and IS difficult to do, as, unlike humans, insects do not understand our commands. If we told an Imperial Moth to stop flying in the air and rest on a flower right next to us that is vibrant in color, the Imperial Moth wouldn't stop. It would just keep flying, as it can not understand YOU. My tips for Entomology Photography are quite simple.
     1. Be quiet.
     2. Do not use flash, as this can disturb the insect in its habitat.
     3. Be quick.
     4. Try different angles of the insect for more interesting pictures.
     5. Use good lighting when taking pictures.

Here are a few pictures of butterflies that I have taken over the weeks. Notice the different angles and light.

                                          A Gulf Fritilary sips nectar from a Zinnia

                                         An old, battered Gulf Fritilary, has its daily drink.

                     The bright orange on this fritilary pops out from the pink flower it rests on.

     Please do not think that I am boasting of my pictures. I just want to help others with taking great photos of insects.

     Now, for EATING insects. As I have said before in this post, I can't bare to see anything die. (Except snakes...) But, it is fun to try an insect every year or two, but STORE BOUGHT. Amazon has a really good product of roasted and flavored crickets and bug larvae. There is a link for them below. They actually are quite good. When we had a bug party a month back, a 3 year old absolutely LOVED them, calling them "chips".

     Well, that should be all you need to know, if you are a beginner. If you have questions, then please comment below, or if you'd just like to say, "Hi," then I'd love a comment!



For edible crickets:

For edible "Larvets":

For butterfly "netted" cage:

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