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Roly Poly Hunting

(written by the SBOAM)

As the sun broke over the rooftop of our house, the three hunters were already bearing down on their unsuspecting prey. An overnight storm had given the land much-needed moisture, and the targets had come out to feast. What these animals didn't know was that there were three pairs of watchful eyes waiting to pluck them from their abodes, putting them in jars to behold for hours to come. So was the first of many mornings the Wiley Scouts have already had, hunting roly-polys in the backyard.

A few weeks ago, I ("the Daddy" / SBOAM / Kyle) was having one of "those" mornings with the oldest two of our brood and was trying to think of something for them to do. I'm opposed to plopping them down in front of the television, so I was looking for something that might possibly get them outside (but, in all honesty, one that wouldn't require me to do much along the lines of pushing them on the swings or anything like that, as I still had some work stuff to wrap up). As I let them roam around the backyard, we began to see just how many of the polypedal animals were rummaging around our patio. Every sighting prompted an excited shriek from Shepherd, followed by an "Awwwww…they're so cute!" from the Princess.

Having no place to put these critters, I quickly rounded up some small glass Mason jars where they would be right at home. Grasping their "traps" with both hands, the glorious hunters were soon stooped over with eyes on the ground like some wilderness trackers, looking for the slow movements of these little dark-grey friends. After a while of hunting on the patio, though, we struck a treasure-trove of the roly-poly populace, a relative pillbug Mecca.

We have a corner bed full of mint and decaying fallen leaves from our Bradford pear. It's also a great place for shade and moisture…two things that roly-polys love most. When we happened upon a few hundred of the bugs crawling in, on and around the retaining stones, we knew we'd struck gold.

Not only gold, though…who would have known how many different-colored pillbugs we would find on this excursion? Ranging from dark-grey to almost white, mottled, polka-dotted, and one half-and-half (seriously…like one of those little pills from the game, Dr. Mario), the diversity of our roly-polys will one day be legendary. As will the abilities of the two Wiley Scouts who earned their merit badges these past few days in Roly-Poly Life Cycles.

Biology, botany, relationship building and hunting…all in a day's work for the Wiley Scouts.


  1. Ah! The delight of the roly-poly! I don't know a child who doesn't love them. :)

  2. I think you are right, Martha! I have very fond memories myself of roly poly hunting as a child!