Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mi casa es tu casa: our garden update

 For our school garden art competition, we wanted to make a garden to invite birds, bugs, animals and insects  into our school - and share the environment with them. It was certainly happening already in the garden outside our room, but we also needed to create another one.
We didn't want to draw attention to our mother bird, in case someone disturbed her  but,  in the end, we needed to protect her.  It's a risk we take.

Here is our new garden. Everyone has participated in some aspect of it. We are very grateful to Mr and Mrs Kesby for all their help.

We got plants from Dominic's family, Mrs Bradshaw (cabbage tree) and Mrs Vincent's family.

Mrs Irwin  and students worked on the painting and signs.

 Back in our other garden ... What is the difference between this bee and the bumble bee?
 Can you see the bird?

What do you think the lines on the bee's wings are for?

Up close with an aphid.

Look back through past blogs. Can you find a photo of the caterpillar before it became a chrysalis?

Where does the gold come from?

How many aphids can fit on a branch? And what is that black lump...?

We know that a chrysalis is water-proof.  But is it aphid-proof?
Huia 1 investigate the changes in our garden.

Progress of the chrysalis. Can you see the remains of the outside of the caterpillar's skin?

Close up of a fly.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Garden update: more visitors and more changes since yesterday

This is the caterpillar under the geranium leaf. Check his progress from yesterday. See below to see how it looked by the end of the day.

This caterpillar has started to turn into a chrysalis. It has gone into the J shape. Can you see the silk attachment?

Here is another bumble bee visiting our cuphea plant (also known as cigarette plant - can you see why?) We seem to have other little visitors, too. We need to find out what they are. Are they aphids?

Aphids on our swan plant.

We need to investigate to find out what this insect is visiting our swan plant. Is it helpful or is it dangerous for the caterpillars? It could be a young adult mayfly, although they live near water. Hmmm ... or it is more likely to be this kind of wasp.

Another bee visiting our cuphea plant.

Here's another caterpillar on a  geranium stalk. Can you see how it is joined to the stalk?

Compare this caterpillar's progress from yesterday.

On another plant on the other side of the garden, one caterpillar is getting ready to become a chrysalis, and one already has. Can you see what is going on inside the chrysalis?

This guy was going for a very long walk to find somewhere to turn into a chysalis...

Compare the progress this caterpillar has made over the day.

Can you see a tiny visitor at the bottom of the chrysalis? We wonder what it is?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Garden Update - more than just an overgrown patch of plants.

This caterpillar is about to turn into a chrysalis. Can you see how the caterpillar attaches itself to the leaf? Can you tell which end of the caterpillar is which? 

Here is a better view of the caterpillar attaching itself to a leaf.
I wonder what this little insect is?
This caterpillar wanted some peace and quiet and moved to underneath a geranium leaf to make its chrysalis.

Our first butterfly of the season?

This caterpillar moved off the swan plant and onto a succulent plant.

How many caterpillars can you count?

I wonder where this caterpillar is headed off to? I think it might get very hot feet after a while.

A wasp visits one of our garden plants.

A caterpillar has also moved onto this plant. Can you see a bee, too?

There is a bird here who does not want to be seen. We love having her in our garden, but it's probably not the smartest pace to build a nest.

We wonder what kind of bird lays eggs like these.