By Betsy Natter
Summer is filled with sunshine, flowers, and lots of things that creep, crawl and buzz. What exactly are those things flying around and will they start “bugging” you? Gather some new information and enjoy some hands on exploration with this variety of workshops designed to teach you about some of these amazing insects.
Green Lane Park
2144 Snyder Rd., Green Lane, PA 18054
How are moths different from butterflies? Do they only come out at night? Why do they like light? Learn all about these unique nocturnal insects during this night time learning adventure on Sat., July 22nd at 8:30 pm. You will use artificial lights and a special concoction of “moth bait” to attract these creatures of the night. The workshop is for anyone age 7 and up and is free. Call the park office to pre-register. Participants should meet at the Park office and bring a flashlight.
Bugs and Blooms Photography Outing
Flowers are in full bloom and the insects are loving it. Bring your camera or phone to this free event on Sat., Aug. 26th at 1 pm. Catch nature’s miniature crawlers and fly-ers in actions and snap some great shots of a variety of insects visiting the plants throughout the park. Photographers of all skill levels are welcome and you can learn about the insects you find along the way. Meet at the fly-fishing area on Church Road (1.2 miles east of Kutztown Road). Pre-registration is required. This program is for anyone ages 9 and up accompanied by an adult.
Norristown Farm Park
2500 Upper Farm Rd., Norristown, PA 19403
Spend the afternoon on Sun., July 23 beginning at 2 pm with the Farm Park’s very own beekeeper, Don George, to learn about the declining bee population and the concerns for beekeepers today. Information about bee biology and how to care for honey bees at home will be shared. Participants will see an active hive firsthand and learn about the equipment used for beekeeping. Sample some honey and buy some to take home. The workshop is free, but pre-registration is required. The program is for adults and children ages 6 and over. Those interested in taking a more detailed beginner’s course in beekeeping will be able to sign up after the workshop.
Everyone loves this cute little beetles, but how much do you know about them? Find out more on Wed., Aug. 2 at 10 am at the Farm Park. Participants will get to take a close look at these little beetles and others, especially those associated with milkweed. You’ll learn about the many varieties of ladybugs and how they differ in both color and the number of spots, as well as discover where to find them. The program is designed for children ages 3-12 with an adult accompanying them. Following the lesson, younger children will make a ladybug craft. Elementary and middle school age are also encouraged to attend. Meet at the pavilions. There is a $5 fee per child and pre-registration is required.
Spiders: the Original Web Designers
You may be familiar with the World Wide Web, but what do you know about the creature for which it was named? Learn all about them during this informative workshop on Thurs., Aug. 24 beginning at 10 am. Did you know spiders were and still are one of the most successful predators on earth? They live almost everywhere, even in your basement, but go in search of living specimens in the park’s meadow. Elementary and middle school age children and their accompanying adults are invited to this class. After the field activity, younger children can make a spider craft. Preregistration is required and there is a $5 fee per child. Meet at the pavilions.
Dragons and Damsels
Dragons and damsels sounds like a fantasy storybook theme, but this class on Sun., Aug. 27 at 10 am is all about insects. Dragonflies and damselflies represent an ancient order of insects that have been on earth since before the dinosaurs. Participants will learn about the history and territorial behavior of these beautiful flyers and how to recognize individual species. Bring a net and any non-glass, clear containers for observation, it you have them. Children ages 6 and over are invited to attend. Pre-registration is required, but the workshop is free. Meet in parking lot #3.
Upper Schuylkill Valley Park
1615 Black Rock Rd., Royersford, PA 19468
Butterflies are some of nature’s most colorful insects. Join the staff at the park and local butterfly enthusiast Ron Richael in hands-on activities with the beautiful Monarch on Sat., Aug. 26 from 11 am to 1 pm. This annual program will include information on tagging, feeding and raising butterflies. There will be plenty of activities for the kids and weather permitting, tagged monarchs will be released so they can begin their migration south. All activities will be outdoors and are open to all ages. There is a suggested donation $4 per person.
Pottstown Regional Public Library
500 East High St., Pottstown, PA 19464
Edible Bugs – What the World Eats
Did you know that is many parts of the world people eat bugs as a part of the regular diet? Learn about the various bugs, their nutritional value and exactly who eats what. This interesting program runs on Wed., Aug 16 from 10:30am to 12 pm as part of the Wednesday Family Program and is free.