WHILE walking home from school one day, we noticed a proliferation of one type of insect on the grass under a particular maple tree. Looking somewhat like a firefly, we took note of its markings and looked it up at home. It was a box elder bug, a true bug which feeds predominantly on box elder trees and also maples.
We've since seen this bug many times, always under maples. They are not especially fast moving, which makes them attractive to Alexander. Every time we see them he tries to outmatch his own record of how many he can hold in his hand at any one time without any flying away or being squashed. I try to share his joy while secretly encouraging escape.
Despite the occasional mishaps, the bug does now have the honour of having renamed this route home from school. It is now called "Box Elder Way".