Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Natural History Day

I don't know if there is such a day, but it sure was at our house today.

While digging more of the marsh, I found the remains of a possum who met its demise in the ditch. I remember this possum only because back about a year ago, while fixing a hole in the fence, I noticed this rank smell. I looked outside the fence and there was this very ripe possum about two feet away. Well, at least two vultures showed up and got a feast out of it.

I checked on my prairie experiment this evening, and this is what happens when you don't mow the grass for a month. Grass really gets pretty when it's allowed to go to seed. The tops turn purple and wave in the wind, and there's all sorts of ground cover stuff going on, too. Somewhere in here are the three black-eyed Susan's I planted. In the foreground by the plank is the bayberry that I put in when I read that Tree Swallows like them.

During the Butterfly Show last month, I visited the gift shop and bought a Venus flytrap. Though they only need a bug or two every few months or less, when Isabelle found a huge ant in the house, I thought it would make a nice lesson for her to see just what a flytrap will do.

(We have made the traps close by poking them with small scissors, but this was the real thing. She was very impressed and spent the rest of the afternoon snapping her mouth shut and saying the bug tasted good.)

If you look closely at my really bad photo, you can see a black shape in the largest trap.

Isabelle made a connection in her mind today that astounded me. We were discussing baby birds (of course) and I told her about the process of the mama bird making the egg in her body and pushing it out into the nest, incubation, etc. My precocious 4 year old thought for a minute then said, "Then baby birds don't have belly buttons!".

Today was also the beginning of Mommy's lecture series entitled "What does Daddy have down there" because Isabelle wanted to know. I am sure that this is going to embarass Geoff to no end, but blog covers many, many subjects. I got as far as what girls have, and then Isabelle lost interest and went to watch TV. Oh, well, gives me time to formulate the rest of my speech.

Oh. And another thing. Penny may be pregnant.

Happy Natural History Day.


LauraHinNJ said...

I pooped out before I got to comment on this post last night. Anyway - very funny and sort of surprising that you have so many things going on nature-wise.

How is the bayberry growing? I always think of them as seaside plants, just curious how it does on your prarie.

Glad you got to avoid *the* discussion with the DD.

Susan Gets Native said...

The bayberry seems may need more water than it is getting in that spot. We had rain, rain, rain in the beginning of May, and then nothing for 2 weeks. There's a marshy area near the bayberry, so I may dig a trench to drain some of the water to the other end of the prairie.
I hope I haven't doomed the poor thing.
But if it lives, it's going to be gorgeous in that prairie...I am eagerly waiting for the black-eyed Susan's, purple cone-flowers, babies breath, and all kinds of other flowers.