Moss Cookie, Anyone?

Carefree, warm days are on the horizon! Get out, let your worries go, and lose yourself like you did as a kid. 

What are your fondest childhood summer memories? Exploring? Camping? Baseball? Hanging with friends? 

One of my earliest childhood memories dates back to when I lived near a pond. One morning I grabbed a chocolate chip cookie and headed out to build a fort along its shore. It was mid-summer, and the wild grapevines, laden with fruit, formed a natural roof for my secret hide-away. Spotting lush green moss near the pond, I ripped up a chunk. I became so engrossed im-agining how I would find more moss and lay a soft carpet that I absentmindedly brought what I thought was the cookie to my mouth. I took a huge bite. Blech! Moss might be pretty, but it doesn’t taste good! 

Later that summer a friend and I formed a secret club. We staked out our headquarters in a meadow near the edge of the woods and called ourselves the Black Beetles. We spied on boys and, from a safe distance, kept our eyes on the neighbor with witch-like long gray hair liv-ing in a house overgrown with hedges. We were the Batman and Robin of the 60s. In order to join this exclusive club, candidates had to sit on a thistle. Since we had formed The Black Bee-tles, we did not have to endure this initiation. Not surprisingly, no other members joined. 

I know you, too, can recall secret clubs and forts, carefree summer days spent spinning maple helicopter seeds, looking for buried treasure, caring for a pet, lazily reading while nestled under a shade tree, playing sports with your neighborhood buddies, hiking, fishing, damning up a stream to see what would happen, making a twig raft and floating it downstream to see where it ends up, playing tag games, and staying outside until dark. 

This summer I’m hoping to get together with my young grandsons and make some sum-mer memories of our own. One idea is to set up a moth trap. I’d especially love to nab a luna moth, the beautiful, large lime-green moth with eyespots and an impressive long tail. Moth trap instructions, adapted from instructions in the book Ollie and Harry’s Marvelous Adventures, are simple. The trap took only ten minutes to make. 

1. Place an opened egg carton inside a large box so the moths will have a shelter for the night. 

2. Using a flat piece of cardboard, make an angled trapdoor. Leave an inch or so gap at the bottom. Moths that go under the gap won’t be able to get out. 

3. Choose a location and light source. I set my box on the back deck near an outlet and clamped a flood light onto a deck rail. An outdoor camping lamp or porch light will also draw moths. 

4. In the morning be careful when you lift the trap door. I caught a beautiful silvery-white snowy geometer or an elm spanworth moth that escaped before I could study it. 

Go ahead. Grab a kid or two and if that’s not possible, try this yourself. See how much kid is left in you. Who knows, you just might end up

2 Replies to “Moss Cookie, Anyone?”

Sue Berk Koch

Summer evenings are the best! Your activity sounds intriguing. I’m sure you’ll have fun with your grandsons setting that one up.
I love catching fireflies in a jar. Thanks for the reminder.

Amy Laundrie

Yes, summer evenings . . . Our family used to love to play “Midnight,” a tag game that was only played at dusk.

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