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Inclement Iowa


A Note From Flash...

Inclement Lake

Hey Children and Teachers!
This is Flash, and I'm taking a moment to write you and tell you how much Tracy Lovett would enjoy coming to your school and talking about my boy, Zack, and of course, little old me!  She could read the story Bug Summer, that she wrote about Zack and me and all the bug hunting we do.  I know you'll like it!  Zack told me she could even drew a big picture of me!!! 
What's the weather like where you're at right now?  Here in Inclement, it is warm and sunny and the bugs are starting to fly around a bit.  Zack had to take out the trash a couple days ago, and we found this amazing little spider on the trash can lid!   Zack took lots of pictures, and maybe Tracy will decide to put that in her next book, Bug Summer--Hunting Spiders.  We'll just have to wait until Labor Day to find out! 
In the meantime, here's a few ideas for having your own Bug Summer!
1.  When you are outside, spend time looking in and under flower petals--spiders and bugs often hide there!
2.  Be quiet and move slow when you are searching for bugs--insects and spiders get scared when people are loud and when they move fast.
3.  One thing Zack has noticed is that you need to make sure your shadow doesn't fall on the bug--it scares them.  Most bugs have a different kind of eyesight than people, and they are very sensitive to light and dark--if     your shadow lands on them, they run away.
4.  Look for bugs under and around large rocks.
5.  If you are planting flowers, you can find lots of bugs (and worms) in the soil.
6.  Sometimes hunting for bugs in the coolest part of the day is a good idea--bugs are more active and move faster when they are really warm, so if you hunt in the early morning, insects and spiders hold still longer.
7.  Remember, different insects have different times in the season when they are active--lightning bugs are in the early summer, small spiders start hunting in the early spring, but larger spiders are ususally seen in late summer.  Locusts start making their creaky chirping in July, but Junebugs buzz around your porch light in late May and June.  Monarch butterflies can be seen during their large migration in late summer--they are going to their winter hibernation spot in Mexico!!
8.  Really windy days are tough days for bug hunting.  Rainy days are hard, too.
9.  You may want to wear insect repellent (bug spray) if you are hunting in the early morning or evening when mosquitos and other biting insects are active.  Ask your parents to help you.
10. Some insects are interesting to catch and hold!  Lightning bugs, praying mantis, ladybugs, locusts, beetles, grass hoppers and caterpillars are all good examples.  BE GENTLE!  Having your own Bug Summer means you look for insects and spiders--YOU DON'T HARM THEM!   Insects and spiders are living creatures just trying to do what they do.  Good bug observers watch them but they DO NOT HARM THEM!!
11. Some insects and all spiders should only be observed with your eyes--like bees, wasps, spiders of all kinds, some ants, and mosquitoes, to name a few.  DO NOT PICK THEM UP!  They can bite and sting, and this can be very painful, or even make you sick.  Zack doesn't touch any bugs if he can help it, he simply takes pictures of them.  It is easier on the bug, and it saves Zack lots of bugbites. If Zack gets stung accidentally, he goes right to one of his parents and shows them.
12. If you want to photograph the bugs, you will need to practice-practice-practice!  Bugs and spiders move fast, and Zack has to take lots and lots of photographs just to get one good one.  You will also need a camera with a Macro setting on it.  This means that it can take pictures that are extremely close up.
13. If you can't take pictures, make a list of the bugs that you see every day, or draw a picture of each bug that you observe.  Keep them all in a folder or a notebook, and pretty soon, you will have your own catalogue of bugs and spiders that you have found yourself!
14. Check out a book about insects and spiders, get your own copy of Bug Summer--Raining Ladybugs, or search for insects and spiders on the internet!  You will learn so much, and have fun at the same time!
15. Get outside and look around at nature!  It is amazing!!! 
Well, kids, I must go.  Zack and his family are out right now, but I need to get off the computer before they come back--they don't know I can type, you see.  Let's just keep that our little secret. 
Well, I must go outside now and have a sniff around.  The lake is beautiful here today!  Pretty soon it will be warm enough for swimming!  You may email me here at flash@inclementiowa.com!  I will be sure to email you back!  And get a copy of Bug Summer--Raining Ladybugs! 
Take care, kids!  And find those bugs!