Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Today the students and I were out on our mission to pull out our dead and dying sunflowers, but we were quickly distracted by the amazing critters that were there. We saw three different butterflies but were only able to identify one of them. One was a white butterfly with a bluish tint with a very distinctive edging to the wings. We saw our first buckeye butterfly and were lucky enough to capture it with the camera. We found some large preying mantis' and a very colorful grasshopper. We also saw at least two different types of moths.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Last week on August 26 I took my new class of 4th graders to work in the garden for the first time. While working we had our eyes out for critters. We saw a fiery grass skipper right off the bat; there were a lot of bees both honeybees and carpenter bees. The kids really enjoyed looking for new critters.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
My friend Michael and I found the caterpillar in the soil in the native section. The fat caterpillar is a granulated cutworm. The skinny guy is a hesperiidae, probably a fiery grass skipper caterpillar; they eat lettuce. He was found in the native section near the poppies. They were released near them because they were torn from the ground and replanted into the ground to help it grow. So they were put into the native section. by Michael and Bianca
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
The caterpillars are green and curl up their back and stay still. You can find them under the broccoli leaves they leave holes in them when they eat. They are fast crawers they can be an inch long they are small not very small they look like they are ready to strike and bite you but not really they do not bite but it looks like it.They are very strange. Jessica
Monday, June 8, 2009
The carpenter bees we filmed(right) were considered to be females. The male(above) was stunned and was released in the garden on June 8,2009. His stinger was missing from his abdomen he was not able to fly. The carpenter bee is known to bit out wood from unpainted wood to make a nest. By Michael
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Adult yellow jacket eats the nectar, and the larva
eats pre-chewed insects. Born in North America. Habitat, Meadows, edges of forested land
it also lives in stumps and in fallen logs. The body is stout ,slightly wider than the head.They are yellow and black the wings are smokey. I found the sidewalk when going in class from Garden time we have lots of yellow Jackets around here.
They protect their nest and can sting when you are near their nest and can be in house roofs,
in barns, trees, bird houses, wind chimes, and they can be anywhere just be careful. By:Jessica
- One spring day my friend Jessica and I went to school and we were going to our teacher's garden
I found him when I was pulling weeds. Kaitlyn didn't see him at first. He was very well camouflaged. At first, I thought the grass was alive. Then I knew what it was. It was a huge green wormy Caterpillar.
I identified the caterpillar when Rebecca picked it up. It was green like the plant it was on. It had stripes that were white. The caterpillar moved like a cut worm that's why it looked like a cut worm. The caterpillar was small and moved cool. The caterpillar eats on broccoli.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
One of our most frequent visitors to our garden so far has been the Painted Lady Butterfly. These butterflies are one of the most widespread in the world. They are a migratory lepidoptera. The scientific name for these winged beauties is Vanessa cadui. Their favorite flowers are aster, thistle, cosmos, and buttonbush. Their caterpillars are especially fond of thistle, mallow, hollyhock, malva, and sunflowers. Of these plants we have an abundance of sunflowers (they can really take over a garden) and mallow (which we were pulling like mad, but have decided to make peace with in at least one section of the garden).
Friday, May 1, 2009
What should we do?
Proposing a public policy
So, how do we save butterflies? We think that developers should set aside a green space for native plants and butterflies in California’s Central Valley. Several of the advantages are: It brings a connection between community residents. It will reduce noise pollution. It provides recreational use like: a place to play, meditate, or rest. In all walks of life it brings happiness to humans and nature. The disadvantages are: It will cost more at first. There could be vandalism in the green space. There will be less housing space. Someone will have to plant and maintain the plants. You might have to replant some of the plants because of the herbivores that might eat the plants in the green space.
By: Sydnee, Serenity, Sierrah
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
We are in the middle of California State testing, i.e. STAR testing, just finishing up our first English Language Arts test when we notice a strange bug crawling on the floor. I quickly grabbed one of the students snack cups and a piece of paper to capture this odd looking creature. Once captured it almost appeared dead. The insect had retracted its legs and wasn't moving. We quickly took pictures so that we could send them to the local UC Extension contact. I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley and I had never seen anything like this. Once I got home I sent the pictures off to the UC Extension office. By the next morning I had positive identification on the bug. He is a Diabolical Ironclad Beetle.
Upon further investigation the plant we affectionately called "pigweed" and were on a search and destroy mission with, was actually Common mallow, Malva neglecta. Mallow is a common weed in open areas, most farmers don't like finding this weed in their fields.
It can be eaten, it has a mild flavor and adds extra nutrition to salads. It can even be used in soups as a thickener. Native Americans used mallow to treat wounds.
The most interesting thing that we found out is that Common Mallow is a host plant for butterflies. The butterflies in California that like to use mallow are: Cabbage White, Common Checkered Skipper, Gray Hairstreak, and the Painted Lady.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
By Ashley and Christina
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
We have been planting native plants for our garden such as: Coyote Brush (Baccharis Twinpeaks), common aster (Aster Chilensis), Pitcher sage (Lepechinia), Purple Needle Grass (Nassella pulchera), and a Hummingbird Plant (Zauschneria canum latfolia). We planted these native plants because our class is going to have a butterfly way station. A butterfly way station is a place where butterflies and other pollinators come to stop and eat and lay eggs on host plants. Our class planted the native plants because butterflies are losing their native habitats.
In the garden one of my favorite jobs is pig weed patrol. Just today we were on pig weed patrol, and found one of the biggest one ever in our garden. It was about 50 cm. The biggest one I ever saw was when we went to the Tuolumne River, it was at least 120 cm.
Written by Salvador edited by Mrs. Retford
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
So...why is it important to carve time out of a busy school day to worry about butterflies?
One reason we take time out of school to worry about butterflies is because we are loosing butterfly habitat and we have less butterflies around the world. We have a garden at our school and in that garden we are working on a butterfly way station. The purpose of the butterfly way station is to help increase the butterfly population. All it takes is about 16 dollars and a little time and space so all gardeners across the world can help the population of butterflies.
Written by Marco, Marcos, and Christina