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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Wings in the Forest--A Garden Chronicle for 2011 (entry 14)

Too bad we did not sign up for The Great Sunflower Project,
we have quite the collection of sunflowers and bees. The sunflower project
is a great at home learning opportunity for the entire family. Little ones will find pleasure in planting, watering, and observing, while your older children may take this opportunity to understand classification and data collection.

The Great Sunflower Project website offers plenty of theme based suggestions for those of you looking for continued at home studies.

Explore--see what gardens can teach us!

No, we did not forget about the sunclock!

The weeds have been quite unmanageable and have left us little room to put down the numbers of the clock. We finally removed the weeds this week and rechecked the sundial's alignment--it is still accurate. Then we put down the numbers where we think they should be, it will be interesting to check them weekly and hourly to see if we were right.

Should you visit the garden on your own, feel free to check the sunclock and make adjustments.

Lots of Garden Visitors--destructive, welcome, and
a little creepy!

Not only did we see the sawed off tomato plant, we also saw the four legged beast that has been devouring our tomatoes and the tomato foliage--yes, a deer. Sorry no pic, wasn't quick enough, it showed up from behind the brush and ran off as surprised as we were.

Mindi brought out the chickens, these are the little ones that hatched in Miss. Melanie's bathroom--if you want to hatch some chicks and want to no where to start let me know we have already made all the mistakes for you. As for raising chickens best to talk to Mindi or Heather, they have raised a few and lost a few and have plenty of knowledge to share.

Drum roll please--the winners of the creepy category are...

Okay, most people (myself included) would squish or relocate a black widow spider not our group, they voted to let it be and give it some space--let it do its job of eating insects. So please take care when you are weeding, black widows only bite when squished--so don't squish them.

The discovery of this little lady has sent me on a research study that I did not plan, as a person with limited enthusiasm for spiders I just avoid them and mass pictures of them (i.e. google images).

No, the spider in the picture next to the black widow is not another black widow, and certainly created enough fear in some of the mothers (myself included) to relocate our little people from the edge of the forest. J**** was kind enough to catch it on the end of his large walking stick, picture collecting was hard with several children climbing on my back to get a closer look.

The vote--let it live, but most agreed it looked like a tarantula! No, not in Virginia--stories start flying about insects traveling in fruit crates and seed packs.

What do you think it is? I think it is a trapdoor spider.
We would love to read your comments.

Want to join the fun? email Heather@alifeoflessons.com or click here for details.


Kristin said...

I think I will pass on the garden from now on :)

trashmommy said...

your spiders pretty blurry, but the body structure looks like a jumping spider, they come in a variety of colors patterns and sizes, one thing that always gives them away is the jerky sort of way they move. Did it look like this: http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/daring_jumping_spider.htm

I love this web site for mystery bug identification:
I could browse those photos all day, but I'm weird like that.

Unknown said...

Yes it was a terrible picture--fear was leading. It looked more like this http://www.flickr.com/photos/lifeoncanvas/2309673515/

thanks for the links--I love to look at pictures of insects too