For the good of our school – and to show my dedication to their learning – I toured the lake in the canoe with an eye out for Nasturtiums.
I found this really pretty patch – but I didn’t see what I figured to be Leaf Miners – so I headed to the neighbor’s house – she said she had some on her roses.
We walked around her greenhouse. The boys showed ZERO interest in our leaves. They were excited about nibbling the plants in the greenhouse. Pointing out the huge slugs making major holes in the cabbage. They wanted the big. The Obvious, and then moved their attention to the Tasty. (She has an awesome greenhouse.)
There is one lone pine tree on her property – and I noticed the needles that were yellowed on the tip. I didn’t see any leaf miners – but I did see what was described – and found these cool eggs on a few of them.
So much for Nature study on Thursday . . . but Friday! We watched the You Tube videos on the Handbook of Nature Study’s site. The Good the Bad and the Ugly video – got the boys inside from the back porch. They were glued to it – The love that movie! Then they watched two more videos – and they were hooked. They wanted to find one. Light that fire. Takes all sorts of kindling. . . We looked it up online together and found out a “sure thing” for Oregon – is the Boxwood Hedge. We have quite a bit of boxwood. – Very quickly – we found the signs of the Leaf-Miner in our yard. Yeah!!!
Jon quickly got out the microscope to see if he could find a leaf-miner in the trails.
What we found was the ridges lifted up from the tunnels. I couldn’t get a good focus with my camera – but good gravy the cell formations on this tiniest of leaf layer was amazing!
Closest zoom with the camera – you can’t see all of the layers. So cool. The boys got re-acquainted with the microscope learning how to change the focus, the lenses, etc.
Nate was pretty excited to find this one leaf roller –rolled leaf. It is a Red Alder Leaf. I want to spend some time looking for a few – cutting them open – to see what is inside.
We didn’t do the notebook page, but we might go through it on Saturday or Sunday to record for our journals. We spent a while laying on the deck in the sun reading The Story of Science: Aristotle Leads the Way chapters 1 and 2. After Chapter One – I said – and that’s it, we’ll read a chapter a week. Both boys asked if we could read a little bit more. They were both really into it. It might become our afternoon reading for a while, or maybe our Thursday – Saturday reading.
The best part of today ? The boys thinking it was their great idea to go find leaf-miners in the yard. . . . I would roll my eyes, but they’re too full of joyful wrinkles while I smile like the Cheshire Cat.
Spend some time over at The Handbook of Nature Blog – and join in on one of The Outdoor Hour Challenges – You too will have your kids excited about the tiniest of things.
Since we’ve begun participating, we too have become reacquainted with our microscopes. It’s wonderful! Love your photo (albeit sort of gross) of the eggs covering that leaf. They look like tiny natural pearls.
I absolutely love this! And I got to really see a real study of leaf miners. Showing the children in the a.m. Thanks to you and your boys, dear Cheshire Cat! Love the photo of the rolled up leaf. Woo hoo!
Your entry made my whole day. 🙂
Thanks for sharing your ups and downs of nature study. I truly love reading every investigation you do with your sons. I am so glad you finally found something to capture their interest.