Monday, July 21, 2008

Outdoor Hour Challenge - Butterflies?

In preparation for this weeks Outdoor Hour challenge I read through the Handbook of Nature Study's section on Insects. As I read and looked at the pictures of moths and butterflies I couldn't help but be reminded of Gene Stratton-Porter's book A Girl of the Limberlost. There is so much talk and description of moths in that book. I can't look at moths and not think of that story.

We have had great weather the last week or so and have spent a lot of time outside riding bikes and taking walks but today I told the kids that we were going out to look for Butterflies and any other insects we find. They thought we needed our magnifying glasses for this hunt so I dug them out and we headed out the door. I had printed out the Summer Scavenger hunt sheet from Hearts and Trees to give us some other specific things to look for too.

As we walked down the sidewalk and were looking for the different things on our list as well as any butterflies we noticed a lot of spider webs hanging out between the pickets of one of our neighbor's fences.
Spiders aren't insects but we saw a fly caught in the spiders web. We watched him struggle for a bit and were going to leave it to it's fate but Henry decided he needed to help the fly.
He used his magnifying glass to knock the fly out of the web and we watched it fly away. Henry saved a life but I tend to think this little 2 year old was really trying to squish him but I will give him the points for his good deed.
One of the things we had to look for was "a weed that is taller than you". I didn't think we would find one. Most people keep their yards well pruned so a tall weed was going to be hard to find but the route we took around our block led us past this lovely weed.

We did see a lot of bees buzzing around in the flowers.
We also found this little guy flying around in some Morning glories.
Is this a yellow jacket or a wasp? I am voting for yellow jacket. But I know there are plenty of wasps around.
Sophie loves looking at morning glories and points them out every time we walk or drive by any.
We made back home and reviewed our scavenger hunt. We found just about everything except a butterfly and a ladybug. I don't know if it was because we were out in the middle of the day or if it just wasn't our day. We will have to try again to see a butterfly on another walk or while at the park this week. We still had a good time outside looking at everything.


jamie in rose cottage said...

LOVE the morning glories! But I could do without the yellow jackets! Great study, thanks for sharing.

Angela said...

My 7 year old is looking with me today at your blog- He loves the bees. He gets stung everytime there is one out! Your kids seem not afraid. I too, love the morning glories! Glad the weather is holding out!

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Chasing butterflies just seems to happen so when the occasion arises, you will be ready for it and you can post again!

You found lots of insects though and that is the focus right now so you accomplished a lot this week.

I think it is a yellow jacket...hate those things, they spoil more of our outdoor eating than I can tell you. :)

Thanks for the link,
Barb-Harmony Art Mom

B.A.M. said...

Great pics!! I love the close up of the Bee!! Thanks for sharing!
Be Blessed-Angie in GA

Anonymous said...

It was more of a bee week here as well. I love that my children don't run screaming in terror from bees anymore. They're so fascinated by watching them collect pollen now. The scavenger hunt sounds fun, although right now we try not to be outside too much. It's just too hot.

mamasmurf said...

A lovely study of the world around you - doing that Scavenger Hunt really kept your children focussed!
Great photographs too.

Julie said...

Great post! Looks like they had a great time and learned a lot. My kids would have run for the hills if we spotted a wasp or bee lol.