Sunday, April 06, 2008

A Break from Testing

We are in the midst of spring testing. The Reading, English/Language Arts, and Math sections are history. Tuesday and Wednesday we will finish up with the Science and Social Studies sections. Last Wednesday afternoon, having spent all morning slaving over the Reading exam, we headed to the woods for a break.

I've never seen Little Brown Jug flowers (or Wild Ginger) lined up in a row like this. The leathery heartshaped leaves are just beginning to unroll. I often crush a leaf so the students can enjoy the gingery smell. The jug-shaped flowers are usually hidden in the leaf mould. (Hexastylis arifolia, I think, Richard?)

Euell Gibbons noted the delicious tubers of the Spring Beauty, but he also advised, "The tubers are good food for the body, but after a long winter, the pale-rose flowers in early spring are food for the soul."

I suspect these are oak apple galls. A small insect, a gall wasp such as Biorhiza pallida, lays an egg in a leaf bud. The tree surrounds the foreign item with material that becomes food for the insects young. If you look carefully you'll see the exit hole where the young wasp escaped its nursery.

Here my explorers, glad to be away from the dread (dommmmmm!!) CRCT, climb our nature trail after exploring the streambanks for a while.

No comments:

Post a Comment