First, I want to thank all the contest entrants — I loved all of your stories. They were enjoyable and so fun to read. I wish I could give all 80 of you the prize. However, I tallied up the votes from our eight Storey judges, and Minide’s bug story received the most points.
While I can't give a prize to all contest entrants, I would like to award a smaller prize for our 2nd and 3rd place winners. Crystalwoman57, the 2nd place winner, will receive one copy each of Attracting Native Pollinators and The Secret Lives of Backyard Bugs. Wagnerslp, the 3rd place winner, will receive one copy each of The Nature Connection and The Secret Lives of Backyard Bugs.
Voting process: I had the judges (including myself) select their top three favorites and rank them as 1, 2, or 3. The #1’s were awarded 3 points, #2's were awarded 2 points, and the #3’s were awarded 1 point.
First, Second, and Third Place Winners
1st Place, Grand Prize Winner
Mindie: “Here is a bug story that went so wrong, but the memory will last forever!
My son, who is now six, has always loved bugs. We search for them, watch them and take along our ID books to identify them. My mother, knowing how much David loves bugs, gave him a McDonalds cup with a cocoon inside a few years back. He was beyond thrilled with this gift as he was going to hatch his first butterfly. (I didn’t have the heart to tell him it would really be a moth.)
I put the cup (with lid) up on a shelf and time passed. I had completely forgot about it till I heard rustling coming from the cup one day. I yelled for my son to come quick and we headed outside with the cup to see and release his “butterfly.”
I carefully lifted up the lid for a peek only to be horrified by what was in the cup. It was not a butterfly. It was not a moth. It was a wasp looking thing I had NEVER seen before! We quickly pulled out our bug book and started to search. What had hatched was an ichneumon wasp!!! As we read we learned the wasp lays her eggs in caterpillars some times and this caterpillar had lived long enough to cocoon before the wasp ate it from the inside out.
I was grossed out and my son was THRILLED. Since we also learned that this wasp doesn’t sting we opened the lid all the way and let it go. He followed it around for most of the day. That night he told me “mom, nana gives the best gifts ever.” I laughed and thought, if you say so, buddy.”
Crystalwoman57: “When I started to get the garden ready this spring, it was still cool and I moved a shovel handle where a red wasp was trying to stay warm and before I knew it, I had been stung on the thumb. Now I'm not allergic to these guys but my arm swelled up to my elbow...and it hurt like the dickens!!! Well, as spring turned into summer and the drought hit us really bad, I was determined to keep my container garden thriving. I would water morning and evening. I noticed that the wasps were the prevailing pollinator in my garden so I would give them their space. As the drought worsened I would see the wasps start to congregate around me and the garden hose everytime I watered.... it got so dry that I had wasps crawling on my legs drinking the water that splattered there. It was a really weird feeling letting these potentially painful critters crawl on me but they only wanted water and they were very polite. I have since welcomed them and I try to respect their nests since it seems they like me and my garden!”
wagnerslp: “I am a teacher and my third floor room is leaking ladybugs!!! They come in around the window sills and air conditioner units no matter WHAT I do! They are not harmful...just sometimes we got loads of them, especially in the spring. So my students have just decided to adopt them and we have added them to the class roll. When I call names now, all the kids wait for me to say "ladies?" and the whole class answers in unison! We love bugs in my room and we would adore this buggielicious prize!.”
Winners, please email your mailing address (not a PO Box, prize will not fit!) to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will not save, sell, or use this address for any other purpose.
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