Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pests to Pets

My kids love to look for bugs in our yard.  I found that our broccoli and Boston ivy have a variety of tomato worms.  There are little baby ones that have just hatched and a big grand daddy one that has the girth of a penny and is 4 inches long.
About 4 years ago my son wanted to have an aquarium.  After going through a bunch of fish (pretty sure the money I spent on fish over a 2 year period would have paid for a papered Golden Retriever) we decided to put the aquarium up in the garage.  All the fish had died, except for a plecostomus, one of those algae eater fish that sucks the algae off of the side of the aquarium.  The fish store I had bought him at had gone out of business and I didn’t know what to do with him.  I stopped feeding him, thought he might just perish on his own…but no, after 2 months of no food he was still going strong, and was about 6 inches long.
After much deliberation (I couldn’t kill him) I put him in a zip loc baggie with water and placed the baggie in my purse.  I marched off to our local Wal-Mart Super Center and when I thought no one was looking, I emptied the baggie, fish and all, into their fish aquarium that was housing other plecostomus fish.  Of course the one I donated to them was about 6 times larger than the ones in their tank.
To this day, I am sure there was someone in the back watching security cameras and saying, “Hey, Joe, check out this crazy lady putting a fish IN the tank in the pet section.”
I digress, the reason for this post was to tell you that with an old aquarium some found caterpillars, a little sand and leaves to eat, you have FREE pets.  The best part is, they aren’t permanent.  Tomato worms will cocoon and turn into a beautiful Sphinx moth.  If they die before that, oh well, get some more, or put the aquarium away for later.
My kids are having a great time checking it throughout the day, collecting extra food, and showing their friends!  Great FREE summer fun!