Friday, January 25, 2008

Butterfly Gardening

Here are some pictures of the new additions to our butterfly garden. First, there's Mary helping plant milkweed. Audrey loves using the watering can. She even watered the insides of her boots! They were very squishy when she was done, even after dumping the water out. When we went out to water the plants tonight, we found two caterpillars on the milkweed, a big one and a tiny one. We brought the big one in for closer observation. Pretty soon we'll have a monarch butterfly.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Spider eats dragonfly

Yesterday morning when I went out to get the paper, I saw a dragonfly stuck in a spider web. Mary and I watched the spider climbing around on its prey for a while. This morning, there wasn't much left of the dragonfly, and the spider had rebuilt its web.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Making connections in Greek

Today we were listening to this week's new vocabulary words, and the first one was biblion, meaning book. Mary said, "Hey, that sounds like the Spanish word for library!" It's neat to see her make connections like that. And it's amazing how many words that came into English (or Spanish, obviously) from Latin, came into Latin from Greek. Studying Greek instead of Latin makes me feel like we're looking back further into the history of language. I'm still convinced our word dowry is related to the Greek word doron (gift) from last week's vocabulary. I can't find a direct link in any online etymology site I've visited, but it seems they both come from the same Indo European root.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

operation habitat

We finished our microscope unit in science, and now we're trying to get our yard certified as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat. This week we surveyed our yard to see what it offers in the way of food, water, shelter, and places to raise young. We've got a lot of good plants already and some dense shrubs. All we need is a birdbath, and we'll be ready to certify! I'd like to get one that's a fountain, so it doesn't become a breeding ground for mosquitos. Some wildlife we don't want to encourage! Mary wrote a haiku about our backyard:

Firespike is dense
Hummingbirds like its nectar
Butterflies do too.