Ugly Beauty

A Giant Robber Fly Face (picture taken by scientists at under a scanning electron microscope at the University of Oklahoma) This is the bug my students captured and sent in to be judged. We did not win

Back in September my students and I scoured the school grounds in order to find the ugliest native Oklahoman bug we could possibly locate. (See my first blog about this HERE)This fellow won their votes (I believe he was named Harry). We wrote a paragraph describing our bug and sent him away for judging.

Four looong months later, they finally announced a winner…and it was not the H.P. Robber Fly. But isn’t his picture awesome??

To see more great ugly bugs, check out the winners, and learn more about this great science contest Go To:

Here is our essay about old Harry Boomer Bug…Remember, we wrote this within a few weeks of school starting and 80 students had a say in what went into this short draft. I am very proud of what they put into this! ENJOY:

Our Ugly Bug contestant is a Giant Robber Fly. Giant Robber Flies are known by the Latin name “Promachus”, which translated to ‘Promachos” in Greek means ‘Champion.” Also known as a Bee Killer or an Assassin Fly, the Giant Robber Fly is classified as follows:

Kingdom – Animalia
Phylum – Anthropoda
Subphylum – Hexapoda
Class – Insecta
Order – Diptera
No Taxon (Orthorrhapha)
Superfamily – Asiloidea
Family – Asilidae
Subfamily – Asilinae
Genus – Promachus

Robber flies live in dry, not cold, habitats that include short grass and sparse plant life.

A few interesting facts about these bugs are that they eat other (larger) insects, have three simple eyes between their two compound eyes, and that they are hatch in the winter and later will die in the winter. These insects also do not have a mouth. They use their proboscis as both an injector of poisoned saliva and as a straw to suck their liquified food through.

We found this Giant Robber Fly (named Harry) behind the playground equipment in a sparsely vegetated area at the edge of a wooded space. This area is full of multiple species of insects such as mustard bugs, grasshoppers, praying manti, and dragonflies.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this contest. We hope you enjoy Harry’s ugly whiskers!


The 5th Grade Class of Highland Park Elementary

PHEW! One Down…

I want to thank everyone for showing such patience and restraint (Or just ignoring me) while I have been mostly absent from the blog the past several weeks. As I’ve mentioned once or twice, my students and I have been madly reviewing and preparing for the State Writing Test…which happened this morning.

I am incredibly proud of all the hard work and obvious thought that my kids have put in to preparing for, and partaking in, today’s test.

Now we are moving forward with

A) MORE SCIENCE! I am super excited to get into more hands on science work with these guys. Their curiosity and creativity pushes us all to new heights.


B) Publishing our own book of Short Stories, written by the Highland Park 5th Grade of 2015 and edited by Tyree Tomes. Its a great thing!

Thank you again, I hope to bring more non-school related posts to you soon! Have a Whimsical Wednesday!

The Tale of the Ill-Gotten Catfish

The Tale of the ill-gotten catfish

By: Barbara Hay

Publication Date – October 16, 2012

Included extras – a map of bootleg Oklahoma

A glossary of lingo/terms


Written primarily for readers ages 8-13 this realistic fiction story is the first in a series that is based on the antics of four sixth grade rodeo boys who call themselves The Bulldoggers Club.

Written through one boy’s (Dru’s) point of view, the reader tags along on one misadventure after another as the boys learn about the effects of lying from one record breaking catfish.

Laced with fact based information on Oklahoma and bulldogging (steer wrestling), along with several other interesting tid bits, this book catches your attention and keeps you interested through the whole story.

It is my opinion that readers will find this story engaging, regardless of a rodeo background. Though a few pieces of the story felt slightly disconnected, it read true to the intended voice of a sixth grade (12 year old) boy, and I would give the book a rating of 4.5 out of 5 Dragons (or stars if you would rather). I look forward to reading Mrs. Hay’s next book.

Food and Fashion

I don’t usually post about food or clothing…I find myself much too under qualified to offer opinions about fashion and my food is usually eaten before I can think about what it really is. However, today there is one of each for me talk about.

First of all, I am not a huge fan of Chinese food. Soy sauce is more salty and less smooth than I prefer (funnily enough, I adore Tex-Mex food. Of course, I’m from Texas). Today I am making Beef and Broccoli for lunch…and replacing soy sauce with Worcestershire Sauce. Try it sometime. Even if you like Soy Sauce, this offers just enough of a different flavor to entice even the staunchest  anti-soy saucer (i.e. ME) to consume a bowl, or two, of the dish. Unless you don’t like broccoli, in which case I can’t help you.

Secondly, I have a small side business run through Facebook of crocheting and occasionally selling toys, hats, and baby/toddler clothing. ( ) Several months ago I started work on a larger scale pattern in the form of a heavy sweater to help me through the North West Oklahoma winter. Today I have only to sew the pieces together and my sweater will be complete!! I hope to have it finished and pictures loaded to my page this evening. If you like that sort of thing please feel free to pop over and check it out!

Lunch is calling my name so until next time, May you Blessed beyond measure!