Altogether Different: Caddis Case Jewelry

Jewelry-maker Kathy Stout of Wheeling, West Virginia raises caddisflies in her basement, encouraging them to construct their cases not with gravel but with bits of precious stones. “It took several years for Ben Stout to perfect the in-home stream, which involves a series of trays containing various types of precious and semi-precious case-building materials, PVC pipe, spray nozzles and drains. Water is filtered, de-chlorinated, and cooled to keep it between 55 and 60 degrees. ‘Each case takes a year to build,’ said Kathy Stout. ‘We raised abut 2,000 caddis here last year, but we have the capacity for a lot more.'” Rick Steelhammer in the Sunday Gazette-Mail.
The best part? When the year-long process is complete, Stout opens the windows and lets the adult caddis fly out.

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  • That is just too freaking cool!
    I know a guy who learned to work with the beavers on his land to control the water levels in his rice fields and duck hunting timber instead of pumping water and draining water using man-made equipment. Most of these landowners trap the beavers and constantly work against them…spending tons of time and money in the process.
    I always love stories about folks who learn to work WITH nature to achieve desired results.