Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cocoons, Dirt and Extras

My friends and I found this cocoon in the dirt at the garden. We found the cocoon yesterday 5/27/09. I was digging to plant some cucumber plants that Mrs. Cantu's class had started and it was just lying there. Today it turned see though. It might hatch any day now. I predict that it will become a granulated cutworm moth.
by Michaela

Friend or Foe

Yesterday I saw a gopher. It was huge. It was all the way out of its hole. I think it is a friend. When I saw it it was eating weeds. I gave it a carrot. It did not eat it though. We named it Gophieshyguy. Here is a picture of the hole and the carrot.

by Michaela

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Taking care of a Painted Lady

Well I was out in Mrs.Retford's fourth grade garden and I found a wounded Painted Lady. It was not able to fly because of its damaged wing. So, Mrs. Retford told me that she might take it home and get it some sugar-water. I asked her if I could take it home and get some sugar-water for the butterfly. At my house my sister named it Moe. Which I thought was a good name because we didn't know if it was a male or female. When I came home one day after school Moe had died, it wasn't moving so, that was the end of Moe.
by Sydnee

Painted Ladies

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).  

This particular specimen was caught on the way to school by one of my students.  He proudly brought it to me in a plastic grocery bag.  At first we placed it in a "critter box" and observed it for a morning in class.  In the afternoon I released it into the garden only to have it recaptured after school.  Upon close examination we discovered that it had a damaged wing.  It was taken home and fed nectar aka sugar water and brought back to school the next day.  It appeared to be better but was still unable to fly.  So, the same student took it home to nurse it over the weekend, unfortunately it did not make it.

Friday, May 1, 2009

What Should We Do?

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

Lettuce and Extras

I found this cutworm in the garden. On Wednesday 4/29/09. Actually, I found it in the lettuce that I took home to make a salad. While I was washing the lettuce I discovered this caterpillar. It is a granulate cutworm. A cutworm is a dull brown caterpillar, and becomes a cutworm moth. These are a common pest for farmers who grow lettuce, cabbage, clover, and carrots.

by Michaela