Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Teaching Science This Week

This is Blazer. He emerged from the chrysalis that was attached to our playground ball. After holding him in our Butterfly Mansion for two days, we sent him on his way north yesterday afternoon.

Today I assigned each pair of students in my classes a base tree in the forest. They were to explore the area they could touch while holding the tree trunk and sketch/measure/describe four organisms they found. I assigned D.J. and Andrew a pine up the bank a ways. I was thrilled when they called me up to see the strange flower. It is an Indian Pink (
Spigelia marilandica).

Another thrill came when a mom, volunteering her time to work on the campus, found a big colony of native white milkweed (Asclepias variegata) in bloom! How have I missed it? Or did it just crop up this year? Our Monarch butterflies will have food!!

Update 5-25-07: Whoops! My bad! My friend Richard Ware tells me I fell for a common imposter. Though it has milky sap and leaves and flowers that resemble milkweed, the stuff all around our garden area is Indian Hemp (Apocynum cannabinum), an invasive, poisonous plant. Monarch Watch says Monarch caterpillars will occasionally taste it, but it will kill them. And the sap can cause blisters on the skin of humans. Arrgghhhh!

No comments:

Post a Comment