originally published May 22nd
We've been enjoying learning about bugs this last week. We've been finding aphids, spittle bugs, rolly pollies, centipedes, millipedes, bees, flies, and the occasional lady bugs, moths and butterflies. Today we found a beautiful centipede hatch out along a trail at Mt Tabor, and counted about 40 giant, shiny black centipedes emerging from the earth. I ordered us some painted lady caterpillars and we have been watching them grow and grow. By then end of this week they will probably be making chrysalises. We will observe the chrysalises in the classroom until they hatch out, then we can release them. We introduced the idea of metamorphosis and life cycles last week. This is a central concept of insect life, all insects go through profound physical changes throughout their life cycle. It's pretty magical if you think about it. This theme of metamorphosis is something that we will be returning to and continuing to explore through the end of the school year.
The garden is truly full of delights this time of year. Those warm weeks in early May got us off to an early start, and all of our seedlings have been out and hardened off in the beds for a week or more. I can hardly believe that the garden is already in summer mode. The peas curl and creep upward every day and they are beginning to flower. The strawberries have flowered and the flowers have transformed to little green berries now bowing down the stems. The melons are doing their best to get pollinated in this cool weather, and have been producing flowers for a couple of weeks now. I mostly plant things that will be ready around the end of school time, or late season crops that won't be ready until school begins again in September. If all goes as planned we will have pumpkins, potatoes, melons and tomatoes around the start of school in the fall.