We stayed at Aunt Linda and Uncle Trevor's house in Spanish Fork while we were in Utah. This allowed the kids to get together with their old friends (specifically Rachel, but also—though to a lesser degree—Miriam, Benjamin, and Zoë) and for us to visit our old stomping grounds.
One evening we took the kids on our old "loop" walk, where we looked for goatheads, sunflowers, thistles, and darkling beetles. We really struck out on the plants (though we weren't very sad about missing out on goatheads) but the darkling beetles were out in full force.
Benjamin bravely picked one up:
They're mostly harmless—they don't bite or sting—but they do spray a stinky smell to fend off enemies, so he was a little nervous about making one mad.
Phoebe is our bug-lover. Here she is gearing up to let out a squeal of "BUG!"
She also wanted to hold the beetle, so here are a million pictures of her doing so:
Giving it a little nose-squish:
It's so big compared to her tiny hand! I mean, it's a pretty big beetle anyway (this is no dainty ladybug), but on her hand it's ginromous!
Oops—she dropped it:
And picked it up again:
And lost interest and started handling it absent-mindedly...which can be crushingly catastrophic to small creatures. Sometimes babies don't realize their own strength.