Saturday, February 04, 2006

Incidental Nature Study

Our nature study this week has reminded me of how much incidental learning goes on in a family that loves to learn together.
Firstly there is the mystery of where the white silky bantam"snowball" disappears to and why she ALWAYS comes back exactly every two days...can birds count, at least to two! or more practically does she consume just enough food to last 2 days; although how she eats the same amount so that her returns are always at the same time of day and never a day longer or shorter is a puzzle we have yet to solve.
Secondly"don't assume its dead just because it doesn't move". Toby and I were down at the river after piano during the week. we were actually searching for lizards but spied this "dead" moth and decided to take it home for the nature table. Toby carried it very carefully in the car on a piece of bark. Much was our surprise the next morning when we found "mothy', as Toby so originally called the insect, resting quietly on one of the bookshelves in the schoolroom! A thorough investigation then ensued with Duncan on his return telling us it was an inchworm caterpillar moth and with us noting how well its top surface camouflaged it as compared with its beautiful underside. Several blurry photos later!!
Finally Lachlan spied a giant praying mantis on the glass door of the schoolroom, on Saturday afternoon. Both he and Toby set off in haste to catch flies for our elegant visitor. Much later Toby came to me with a birds-eye illustration he had made of the mantis, which I shall put in his nature diary. All this with no planning/organizing from me...hmmm, pause for reflection.

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