“Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragonfly
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky.”
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
As I have been building my garden into one for wildlife to share, I have been paying attention to the critters who visit. I started with birds, was enamored with the frogs and toads and moved to butterflies. But recently I have been more interested in the others who live here; the bugs or are they insects.
So when I heard about this book, I thought what a great way to introduce myself to the insect world. I will tell you I loved this book so much I also purchased the first book by the authors, The Life Cycles of Butterflies which I will review in October. Learning about the basics of bugs and insects has certainly opened my eyes even more to what I do in the garden, and how it greatly affects the life cycles around me.
I am linking in with Holley@Roses and Other Gardening Joys and her monthly Garden Book Review meme that takes place on the 20th of every month as I introduce you to this wonderful book.
by Judy Burris and Wayne Richards
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (June 1, 2011)
List Price: $ 14.95
Amazon Price: $10.17 (Paperback)
In A Few Words
The book is broken into two parts. Part One is an Introduction full of information about the authors and different cycles-seasonal cycles, plant life cycles, soil life cycles and life cycles of insects and spiders (incomplete and complete metamorphosis).
Part Two is all about The Secret Lives of Insects and Spiders: fireflies, ladybugs, beetles, dragonflies and damselflies, lacewings, hoverflies, stick insects, Chinese Mantid, wasps, bees, ants, grasshoppers, crickets, cicadas, katydids, aphids, stink and spittlebugs, leafhoppers, black widow spider and many butterflies and moths.
The entire book is filled with amazing photographs that will delight readers of all ages. Each of the sections about the insects has wonderful basic information with pictures of the different stages of the insect.
The back of the book has picture comparison guides of the eggs, larvae, pupae and adults of 24 of the bugs. There is also a picture guide to the Top Host and Nectar Plants for many of the insects.
What I Liked
The brother-sister author team has brought the mysterious world of these little critters to life. And this book is a great way to start to learn about insects whether you are 5 or 55. It is laid out to show you in big bold pictures the bugs so you can easily identify them in your garden right down to the eggs. The photography is beautiful and taken mostly in one backyard. I was amazed to learn that all these creatures could be found in my garden if I had the right habitat.
Do you know the difference between an insect and a bug? I didn’t but in simple terms you will learn this as well as ways to protect pollinators. You’ll also find out how pill bugs and slugs benefit the garden. After reading this book, I learned so much more than I ever did in biology class. I finally discovered all about the life of a firefly and why they disappear later in summer.
The section on butterflies and moths highlights the most abundant of these. One of the added bits of information is the host plant for each. Without growing these specific plants, you cannot hope to attract these critters. And do you know the difference between a dragonfly and damselfly? I finally do. It’s all in the spacing of the eyes and the way they position their wings when at rest. Just oodles and oodles of fascinating facts about 90 different bugs including their habitat and life cycle.
Not So Much
I would love to see a sequel to this book with more information and pictures about spiders as there was only one in the book that is not found here, the black widow. And the section on bees and wasps is only a couple of pages. A whole picture book on bees and wasps would be so helpful for gardeners and junior scientists as they explore their backyards.
This book is an excellent book for children, grandchildren, a favorite teacher or a favorite gardener. It is a great beginning that will whet your appetite to learn more. Although I don’t know the exact bee, dragonfly or damselfly pictured here, I look forward to learning more so I can easily identify them at their various stages in my garden. I want to keep a critter journal next year to identify the different insects in the garden, when I see them, what stage they are in and how many I see. Kids will want to take this book outside and begin their bug search so get ready for bugs, dirt, leaves and a whole lot of fun!
He walks upon the summer skies,
Drawing from his silken blouse
The lacework of his dwelling house.”
~Robert P. Tristram Coffin, The Spider
I hope you will join me for my Seasonal Celebrations meme. And it seems so appropriate to collaborate with Beth and her Garden Lessons Learned meme. What lessons have you learned this past season of summer here in the North and winter in the South. Then tell us about your wishes, desires and dreams for this new season.
The rules are simple. Just create a post that talks about lessons learned and/or seasonal celebrations. If you are joining in for both memes please leave a comment on both our blog posts. Or if you are choosing to join only one meme, leave a comment on that blog post. Make sure to include a link with your comment.
Beth and I will do a summary post of our respective memes on the equinox (around the 21st of September). And we will keep those posts linked on a page on our blog. Your post should be linked in the weekend before the equinox to give us enough time to include your post in our summary. And if you link in a bit late, never fear we will include it on the special blog page (when I get it done that is).
The badges here can be used in your post. So won’t you join in the celebration!!
I will be linking in with Michelle@Rambling Woods for her Nature Notes meme. It is a great way to see what is happening in nature around the world every Wednesday.
As always, I’ll be joining Tootsie Time’s Fertilizer Friday.
I hope you will join me for my posts once a month on the 3rd Tuesday, at Beautiful Wildlife Garden. The next one will be on the 18th.
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