Saturday, December 7, 2013

Snapshot in Time - Butterfly Fiasco

Did you know that on day 34, when you release butterflies that you have hatched and grown from wee little caterpillars, that on day 34 of caring for them, and you let them out, and the whole school is watching, that there will be some birds that will swoop in for a snack and eat them right in front of you?

It sounds like this:

"Oh, look at that one?"
"Wow, they are flying high!"
"This is so cool!"
"Yay, yay, yay!"
"There's mine!"
"No, that's mine!"
"Oh, they are beautiful!"

Ad nauseum.

"Collective, ahhhhhh! Beautiful!"

And then, one fell swoop, the horror story gasp and intake of about 60 students' and teachers' breaths -

"Ahhhh, OOHHHHHH, NO!"

The starlings were picking them off like a nit comb on a head full of lice.

Immediate journal entry by a second grade boy.

I like butterflies.
I like caterpillars.
I DO NOT like birds.

The Decomposition Project

(Photos 1 & 2 taken 11-1-13)

Yes. Kinders rock! We get to do all sorts of cool things.

Currently, we are investigating a long term decomposition project. The materials consist of two pumpkins (minus the seeds, which were cleaned, cooked, and quickly inhaled by eager mouths).

Both pumpkins, one carved and one uncarved - due to very thick, gourd-like skin - reside just outside our classroom door. In the gravel. In the weather. In the snow, wind, rain, ice.

(Photos 3 & 4 taken 11-24-13)

So far, both are still recognizable. One observation - the opened wound, I mean carved pumpkin, is definitely succumbing to decomposition, while the pristine (not for lack of trying) warty pumpkin is just sitting there.

Date of death and burial, er, placement outside for observation: October 30.

Watch for future installments of time lapsed photographs. It's going to get really gross.

(Photos 5 & 6 taken 12-4-13)

(Taken 12-15-13: Looking a little more saggy!)

(Taken 12-19-13: Definitely squishy! The uncarved pumpkin is holding up very well.)

(Taken 1-5-14)

(January 5, 2014)

(January 7, 2014, after a bit of snow and ice)

(January 7)

(January 7)

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Little Story

It was a beautiful idea for a children's book.

I could picture it. Killdeer on the Playground. Illustrated with botanical quality drawings and charts. Charming students and natural habitat. Exhibition of caring for a wild creature. Joy and wonder arising from the hatching and protecting of adorable feathered offspring. A day by day journal of the growing avian family.

Day 1.
Killdeer nest discovered on playground. Right in the middle of the 'running a lap' pathway. Frantic and dramatic parental input - lead them astray, lead them astray, lead them astray. This continued to occur - for 60 students worth of running laps (X2 recesses).

A temporary solution of protection was found by using a hula hoop as a fence around the nest. "Stay clear!" was the command of the day. Teachers and students monitored the eggs in the midst of the bark.

After school, I considered all of the possibilities of a fascinating Caledecott Award Honor Book. Written by a new-to-the-scientific-and-secular-world of children's picture books author. Someone from the beautiful northwest. Someone like - moi.

Beautiful things. Dreams.

Day 2.

Racing to the playground for recess, students and teachers alike hoped for nesting parents.

Instead. An empty nest, no parents, a few shells, and some dried runny yolk at the bottom of the grassy depression nest.

Seems the community dog had a better idea for the eggs.

It WAS a great idea for a story.

Not all was lost. What a great lesson about the food chain!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Light Inspiration

I haven't been too inspired to decorate for Christmas. Must be brain overload, since I usually can't wait to decorate Thanksgiving Day - as soon as turkey leftovers are tucked into the fridge. I adore the lights and visiting favorite Christmas treasures as they come out of storage.

But this year...ho hum. Ornaments and decorations breezed through my fingers. Nope. Nope. Store it. Not this year. Hmmm. Maybe this one.

I even had Christmas music blaring - all 200 songs on the Ipod!

And then, white lights and crystal beckoned me. Inspiration struck.

Feeling more like Christmas is in the air. Especially with all of the burning candles and flickering lights.

Light is important. With the dreary, cold rain (or snow, please, yes, snow!) and shortened days, Christmas lights bring out the nostalgia and coziness of the Season.

A very Light filled and cozy Christmas to you ~
Merry Christmas!

The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwell in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.

. . .

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Song is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:2,6