Monday, June 21, 2010

Nature Studies

Today we began our study of Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day. Because its summer, we opted to start our study with insects instead of birds, which we'll cover next. After reading through today's lesson, we headed over to the pond near our house. Armed with my favorite nature study book, Anna Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study, and my camera, we braved the sweltering temperatures. I think at this point, I enjoy it more than they do. After many complaints about the itchy grass, the heat, the possibility of seeing a snake (remind me not to warn them about this prior to the trip), and the lack of restrooms, we made some awesome discoveries. This is how they spent the visit, aside from running over to see what I found. Notice that they are in the shade attempting to keep cool.

Meanwhile, with sweat dripping off my nose (quite literally), I found this guy while searching the shoreline diligently. Anyone care to guess what it is?

Give up? Its a dragonfly nymph (with two tiny snails hitching a ride on his head). On previous trips, we had seen them in the water, and their exoskeletons on the grass by the shore, but I'd never seen one in the process of crawling out of the water to dry out and complete its transformation to a dragonfly. Very cool! Here's a better picture...minus the snails.

Kinda creepy, but also cool. Especially if you do your research on these fascinating insects. After drying out, their skin splits open, and out crawls this beautiful dragonfly. I took tons and tons of pictures of various dragonflies, and I won't post them all, but here are a few of my favorites.

I also managed to get a picture of a damselfly laying her eggs in the pond. If you look closely, you can see her body curled around under her, beneath the surface of the water.

Lastly, I'll share some of the other pond residents we encountered during our visit. Enjoy...

1 comment:

  1. This rocks! I just learned something new... never saw a dragonfly nymph before. My girls will love this post. Nice blog!