My husband and I visited the Biblical History Center in LaGrange, Georgia. My favorite part of the tour was the walk through the Archaeological Replica Garden where full-scale reconstructions of structures relevant to daily life in Biblical times bring history to life. I recommend making reservations for the tour because the knowledgeable guide explains the culture and customs of Biblical times. The tour includes a visit to the Biblical Life Artifacts Gallery where 250 artifacts from the National Treasures of Israel are on display. Click here to visit their site. At the end of our tour, we enjoyed a Biblical meal. There are special events throughout the year. Roman Army Day is on October 23rd. What an interesting day trip for a small group or your family!
I caught more pollinators busy at work! (See previous post for information about pollinators.) Do you know how butterflies drink the sweet nectar in a flower? They have a proboscis. To explain how the tube-like proboscis works with my student scientists, I use a party blower. When not in use, the proboscis is rolled up out of the way.
Pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, are essential for life on earth. I captured these pollinators at work in my garden. Do you see the pollen on the bee’s legs? Watch the new video below for more information.
Participate in the Georgia Great Pollinator Census with your family. Click here for information.
It wouldn’t be summer without hummingbirds! Two hummingbirds frequent the flowers on my deck daily. I’ve tried to take photos, but they move quickly! I learned so much about these amazing birds from the video below.
Did you know that hummingbirds in North America migrate to Mexico and Central America? They will begin their journey south around the end of August.
If you live in Atlanta, you have seen a five-lined skink. They are easily identified by their blue tails. Juvenile skinks have especially bright blue tails and one visited me today. These lizards are harmless. They are often found near deciduous forests and prefer moist areas. Skinks are excellent climbers and move quickly to escape danger. Like other lizards, their tail can break off if seized by a predator, but will regenerate in time. Skinks are most active on warm sunny days and prey on insects. They are often mistaken for snakes because of their short legs.
For years I posted photos of my White’s tree frogs on my blog. I left my frogs in the care of the new lab teacher, but I have discovered tree frogs that live around my deck at home. These common gray amphibians are found in a variety of woodland habitats. They generally spend the day hiding in secluded areas and emerge at night to feed on insects and small invertebrates. Be cautious handling these frogs because they secrete a toxic substance that can irritate your skin.
I sure am missing my young scientists! I thought of them as I worked in my garden and found this leaf. I wondered why this large deciduous leaf had already changed color in early August. I noticed it was folded and when I opened it, I discovered that the part under the fold was still green. Why do you think it remained green? Why do leaves change color? What will happen if I leave the leaf open?
My husband and I drove through Wisconsin this summer, and we found the variety of trees differed from the trees native to Atlanta. I especially enjoyed learning about the cottonwood tree. This massive shade tree grows along rivers and lakes. They belong to the poplar family and are among the fastest growing trees in America. They are easily recognized by their wide trunks. The name “cottonwood” comes from the fluffy white material that surrounds the seeds each spring.
When I was chosen to be the science coordinator seven years ago and tasked with creating a science lab, I began with an empty room. Creating an inviting, engaging, learning environment has been such a labor of love.
As I looked around the room one last time before I closed the door and took the first step in my new chapter, I thought of the classic story, Good Night Moon, in which the character says good night to all the items in his bedroom before going to sleep. I laughed at myself, as I said good-night to all my favorite spaces and materials in the lab, and thought of all the young scientists who have shared this room with me. I already miss them!
My favorite labs are those that teach my young scientists about the natural world around them. I believe that as they understand how all living and nonliving things are interconnected, they will develop a desire to care for creation. Kindergarten, first, and Prefirst scientists learned about the habitat, lifecycle, and bodyparts of worms, as well as their role in the ecosystem.
We read Wonderful Worms together.