When weren’t successful hunting leaf rollers and miners when we had gone on our nature outings. As luck would have it, when we weren’t looking for them … that is when we find them.
First … when I was on a run and the kids were at Enrichment Day … I observed one and immediately planned to bring it back with me. I wasn’t sure how to ensure the little critter didn’t fall out of his roll while I ran but I opted to continue my run and collect the specimen on my return. Fortunately, I observed a plastic bag the wind had blown up against a fence and I thereby picked it up. I then carefully collected the leaf home and hopefully, its inhabitant on my return loop.
When I shared my discovery with the kids later that afternoon, they were overjoyed. They ran to their journals and immediately got started on sketching the leaf and whatever surprise might be inside. They were amazed by the tiny little “stitches” as they referred to the silk thread the insect had used to ensure it’s efforts weren’t wasted. We they unrolled the leaf, we found lots of frass (caterpillar poop) and to our joy, a tiny little caterpillar no longer than 1cm. Sadly, he had perished.
A week later, we were on a nature outing with our new Roots & Shoots group and low and behold, leaf rollers were everywhere. It was a delight that now we were able to share our knowledge with others.