Thursday, June 9, 2011

Twin and triplet

Wednesday 9 June I was helping at Minet with education. The School was called Dr Tripletts and we were looking at habitats. After the usual H&S talk we went out on the Park where I was leading the part of the programme that investigated ponds. On arrival at the first small area we spotted a large red damselfly on the reeds near the edge. We soon got ourselves organised with trays and dipping nets and most of the children had the opportunity to experience sweep netting. It will not surprise most of my readers that the predominant animals found were tadpoles. They were at various stages of their development some without legs, some with two legs and one individual with four legs. A minnow swam amongst them and we also found a weird collection of detritus. As we watched we suddenly saw some feelers then a head emerge. It was a cased caddis fly larva. Everyone was thrilled to bits. As ever lunch time came far too quickly so we headed back to the Lodge for our lunch. In the afternoon I changed to looking at grassland. Sweep netting in the meadow was energetically practised and the findings checked with a key. These included crickets, ladybirds, beetles, spiders and a variety of flies of various shapes and colours. Some of the children seemed disgusted when they saw some "spit" on some of the dock leaves. I was able to explain that these were hibernation chambers or "nests" for the frog hopper. Then the rain came. It was rather heavy so we retreated to the lodge. We were able to continue our lesson with the contingency programme and since rain had been in very short supply here in the South East we did not complain too  much. It had been a brilliant if  exhausting day

No comments:

Post a Comment