Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Outdoor Chalenge #26: Insects

We haven't done one of Barb's Outdoor Chalenges all summer! But, I love them and am happy to get involved again now that our school is back in session.

Right now, Barb's challenges are about different insects. Challenge #26 is about ladybugs and aphids, but she has told us that these are just guidelines. So, I decided to share about our nature studies from the past 2 days. They include insects, but not ladybugs and aphids.


On Saturday, we were running errands and we were seeing TONS of dragonflies. We went to the grocery store and saw 40-50 around the grass in the parking lot! At our own house, we saw about a dozen.



Today when I got home I saw about 6 dragonflies... and they were in a swarm of gnats... just eating them up! (I think.) Everywhere I looked there were gnats. And, there'd been lots of gnats this weekend, too. So, I guess the dragonflies are doing well because the gnats are doing well. If anyone has a better explanation for me, I'd love to hear it!
We have had LOTS of rain during the past 3 days... and much more predicted! The temperatures our nice, but you have to keep your umbrella handy. With all of this rain, we were pleased (isn't that strange?) to see so many mushrooms popping up... even in our own backyard. So, today we went on a mushroom hunt. We also read some about them. I haven't identified these, so I think I'll mainly just show you the photos of mushrooms in our neighborhood...



A fairy ring? And, we had a great time talking to this neighbor we've never really met before.







I'd read about making spore prints. Basically, you take the cap off of a mushroom and place it flat down on a black piece of paper. Then, you put a bowl over it so it doesn't get any drafts on it. Wait a few hours, and see what you've got! I thought it turned out really neat.
So, I think we'll be hunting for more mushrooms as we have about a WEEK more of rain ahead of us! I've seen a BIG one I'd really like to photograph...

12 comments:

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Insects and mushrooms...how much better than that does it get? :)

Loved the videos...really gives you an idea of how many there were.

Yep, post away....let us know what you are up to and if you see any ladybugs next week...post about them then.

Thanks Dana, glad you are back.
Barb-Harmony Art mom

Melissa Telling said...

That spore print is really cool!

Donna said...

I just love coming to your blog! You are always up to something interesting & fun : )
I can't belive how great your print came out! You could frame it.
Thanks for sharing,
Donna
http://homeschoolingsunnyflorida.blogspot.com/

jamie in rose cottage said...

We've had quite a few mushrooms around here, too. I might have to try that spore print thing next time I see them.

Rhonda said...

What a great day! I love the "Fairy Ring" of mushrooms and the mushroom spore print. That turned out great!

Anonymous said...

What great pictures! Dragonflys are always interesting to watch...or at least I think.
I also wanted to let you know I've included you in my first award ceremony!
Jennifer
www.homeschoolblogger.com/ZephaniahWay

Robin said...

We get mushrooms every now and then, but we've been super-dry here in Virginia. I'd love to try the spore print.
And I love your videos. It's amazing how many dragonflies I saw in that one little video. And, ugh, that's a lot of gnats!

Teresa said...

Love the mushroom on black paper, was it the craft kind that the kids use?? I haven't visit in a bit. I was reading your first day of school, love that idea and think that I am going to do the same. We start back into routine, this week, doing school, but not her next year stuff because everything stopped when Faith broke her arm and well it went down from there and then dad's holidays started. This week was all about getting her use to being back at the table. I think I am going to start the tradition here, donut and a picture to start the new school year. Great idea.

Keri said...

Hey...
we had a bunch of dragonflies swarming around too! They were here for a few days before the storm came!

Cindy said...

Hi, and thanks for visiting Bug Safari! I just wanted to let you know that you probably won't be able to send away for praying mantis eggs at this time of year. But the good news is that you might be able to find some nice big mantids in your yard. They would be full-grown or nearly grown by now. They lay eggs in the fall which will hatch next spring.

Gerkin Pickle said...

Those pictures are fantastic! I absolutely love the fairy ring and spore prints...me thinks me sees a camping project coming up! lol

Cindy said...

Oh, I want to find a fairy ring!!!!

Related Posts with Thumbnails