Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Outdoor Hour Challenge–Moths & Fireflies August 11, 2010

Filed under: Exploring Nature — Barefoot in Suburbia @ 9:24 pm

This week’s Outdoor Hour Challenge was on moths and fireflies.  It’s an interesting combination, for sure, because most people tend to think of fireflies as really pretty and moths as quite the opposite! 

To do this challenge, we stayed outside from sunset until dark doing our observations.  As the sun was setting, noticed that moths of several different sizes started to congregate on our front porch, which provided a great opportunity for the kids to get some up-close viewing.  We turned on our porch light, which attracted a ton of them, as well as a couple other insects.

Beautiful sunset

Another view of the sunset

This little guy was one of the first insects to start coming onto the porch at sunset.

Another view of the green grasshopper

We used our bug nets and caught several of the moths and put them in the bug house and cricket cage so the kids can observe them up close. (Jedi was riding his bike right before we did this...he wasn't wearing a helmet because of the moths. 😉 )

The girls observing as well.

As the sun started to set more, we went out to look at the fireflies.


The firefly part of the study was interesting.  A month ago, we would look out into the fields and there would be thousands of fireflies all lit up at once.  They’d only be over the longer fields surrounding our property and not over our newly cut grass.  It was a wonderful show.  But lately, it’s been over 90 degrees during the day with heat indices of over 100 degrees.  When we went out to do our observations, we saw *maybe* two dozen fireflies, max, in 20 minutes.   Such a huge difference in one month’s time!  Because there weren’t many, we couldn’t catch any to observe in the bug jars.  However, earlier this year, we did catch a few in jars before releasing them again.

After we got home, we also noticed a few dead moths laying around, so we decided to get some hands on observations done. It was interesting to findout that moths actually have 4 completely separate wings. When they are flying, it looks like just 2! They also have fuzzy little bodies.

An interesting shot of his face. They have massive eyes compared to their bodies!


2 Responses to “Outdoor Hour Challenge–Moths & Fireflies”

  1. Phyllis Says:

    I like the interest that you children are showing! Like your observations of moths.

  2. For those of us who do not have fireflies, I included moths so we would not feel left out. 🙂

    I have learned that fireflies are more abundant earlier in the summer from reading the firefly entries…see I learned something from you all.

    I think you did a great job on this challenge and I liked the close up photos of the moths.

    Thanks for sharing your links,

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