Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Green Hour Challenge #6: Shelf Fungi

The main assignment for Barb's Green Hour Challenge #6 was to start a collection. But, she also said that if things were going well and you didn't feel ready to start a collection, that was fine, too. We might start a lichen collection later on, but for now I think we'll continue to work through our list from challenge #5. This week's topic: shelf (or bracket) fungi.

Last night, I re-read the section in HONS about bracket fungi. Bracket fungi come in many colors and are usually found on dead logs. If they are found on living trees, they are usually destroying it. Thankfully, all the shelf/bracket fungi we found were on dead logs.

We found at least 4 different kinds of shelf fungi. Most of them are very thin, but the one above was plump.This was a beautiful green fungi. We were supposed to observe the underside, too, but I couldn't find an easy way to do it. I didn't feel safe kneeling in the pine needles - there have been lots of rumors of snakes in the area.

I started my own nature walk while Alexandra was still in class. I took some photos of this Philadelphia Fleabane. We studied wildflowers last year and I was happy I remembered the name of this delicate looking flower.

Then I remembered seeing some photos of flowers taken from the underside. I turned this group of flowers over to photograph it, and found this neat insect! You might enlarge this photo - the "hairs" on the plant look really neat. Identification: Zebra Longhorn Beetle. They occur in the Atlantic and Gulf Coast states and are active March to August and are seen on a variety of flowers.

And, who would have guessed how beautiful a dandelion could be? This one looks really neat enlarged, too.

After Alexandra got out of class and had recess, I took her on our nature walk. Two of the little boys from her class joined us for the fun! We came up to a tree (at this point, it was just Alexandra and me) and I challenged her to find an insect or spider before I could. Well, what a find! You'll have to enlarge it... if you dare! I mean, if you want to. :-) It's a very well camoflauged spider eating a caterpillar! (So sad, but that's nature!)

My biggest thrill was passing on some of my love of nature to two more little boys - both of who probably love nature already, but we got to enjoy it together. And, I enjoyed our hunt for fungi, wildflowers, insects, and spiders.


Andrea said...

How fascinating! I love your photos. What a neat nature study.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

First before I forget, loved the photo of the spider eating the caterpillar, very interesting if not totally gross. :)

I love that you are taking your own nature time by yourself. I love taking a few minutes each day and making the rounds of my yard just to see what I can see, all by myself. It charges my batteries.

I am really enjoying reading your challenge entries.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Rhonda said...

How excited you must have been to find the beetle under the flower! Little things like that just make me giddy *giggles* The photo of the spider eating the caterpillar was a really good one. I enjoy being able to click on the photos to enlarge them and see the beauty of them up close. Great job girl.

Melissal89 said...

Ok, I must know what type of camera you use!? Your pictures are gorgeous, ok maybe not the spider!;) But yes, tis nature. I'm not sure before seeing your picture that I would have called fungi beautiful, but I will now!

My hubby and I have been looking into getting me a new camera, it sure would get use!

Great job taking time for yourself in nature, that is wonderful, I'm learning it's not so bad to take that for myself. It's wonderful therapy to be out there in the quietness and awe of God's creation.

Oh, and thanks for the recommendation to study the parts of moss...do you know of any good resources?

Blessings, Melissa

Sea Star said...

Who knew fungi could be so interesting. You really do make it look beautiful in those photographs.

keri said...

Beautiful fungi, wildflowers and caterpillar, so much to see, when you are looking!You must have had a wonderful time.

mamasmurf said...

Absolutely fascinating photographs! How wonderful that you got to share some time with other children too.

MomToCherubs said...

What beautifuol photos, and such an interesting Nature Study. Thanks for sharing !!

God Bless.

Tina said...

Your pictures are beautiful.

I am just amazed at all you find out about fungus. What a neat topic.


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