Tag Archives: insects

Weekly Photo Challenge: Red

Some weeks it’s just all about the color…and this week for me, it was red.

We’re fortunate to have a beautiful and productive garden at our school.  Even in the first weeks of school it is full of life.  My students are expert insect hunters…and not afraid to look closely to uncover what ofter remains hidden.

This brilliant green grasshopper was quite patient…and posed beautifully with the chard as a vivid red backdrop.

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And who can resist our friends the ladybugs perched on garden-green leaves?  (They were feasting on the plentiful aphids–something our students pointed out as they turned leaves over to look closely.)

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Last night was Back to School Night…that evening spent with parents talking about what students will be learning this year.  And no matter how many times I have done it, it is always a bit stressful.  It was such a treat receiving a bouquet of gerbera daisies from a parent…just because!

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And this morning brought another parent with giant pomegranates from their tree…and I couldn’t resist creating a spare “still life” on my kitchen counter!

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Red seems like a dominant color in my life this week (and I realize that as I am writing this I am wearing a bright red shirt!).  Take a look around, where do you find red?  The cover of the book you are reading? The colors of the sun setting at the end of a long day?  The fire truck that screams by you with sirens blasting?

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #red for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

So take a look around and find some red!  I can’t wait to see red through your lens!

Citizen Scientists: Researchers in the Wild

This morning someone shared an article about kids as citizen scientist researchers–observing and documenting ladybugs in their place, and learning about research and data in the process. I love engaging students in real work as part of the learning process…and teaching them that all of us, as part of our daily lives, can and should continue to learn every day.

On our rain hike in Yellowstone the other day I got to look closely at the environment around me, noticing details and appreciating the beauty.  Our destination was this natural bridge, a work of nature that I’m sure informed the first people who saw it.

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And as we walked away from the bridge back toward the car, I noticed bubbles in the puddles as we passed.  I was sure I was noticing something in the bubbles…and stopped to watch.  It seemed that with the rain drops, a bubble would form with a white insect in it–magnifying the image of the bug–and then pop after it floated a ways.

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I had to look closer…what were these creatures?  And why do they form these bubbles?  Do they only come out in the rain?  Are they native to this forested area in Yellowstone?

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I haven’t yet found out what these insects (I think they are insects) are…but I am curious to know more about them.  I’m hoping that someone will know something more and lead me to some research to answer my questions.  Here is a close up view…

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There are so many interesting things to learn about when you take the time to notice.  As I start to prepare for the beginning of school, I’m thinking about ways to support and encourage my students to pay attention the world around them and then to document and further research the questions that interest them.  I’ll also be on the lookout for citizen scientist projects in my area (and would love any information you might have)…what a great way to engage students as researchers!

And if you happen to know anything about these bugs in the bubbles…I’d love some leads!