Have you ever heard of a velvet ant, also known as a “cow killer”? Have you ever seen a spider wasp? Did you know that all of our native Oregon bees are annuals? Only honeybees, who were not native originally, live for more than one year. Did you know that small holes in tree trunks are often the sign of beetles who bored their way OUT of the trunk? Did you know that bumblebees are the only bees who can raise their body temperature above the ambient temperature?
Our Family Bug Crawl event in Riverview park on August 10 was a hit, but it’s not clear who had more fun. The kids devoted most of their attention to finding and catching bugs and getting our guest entomologist Dr. Richard Little to identify them, while the adults learned facts about bugs they didn’t know before.
The walk didn’t get very far, but it was meaningful with every step. We walked down to the river to examine tiny holes in the sand banks and look under the rocks, then back, looking at bugs and signs of bugs and learning with every step. The kids proved they are budding entomologists, catching a bunch of different bugs, including yes, a velvet ant, a spider wasp, a brown marmorated stink bug, and an orange-bordered plant bug.
We think there’s a good chance that everyone who attended this event will be looking at things a little differently as they walk the trails.