Brambling & Butterflies

This is how we spent morning tea on Australia Day. After all the rain we have had this year, a benefit is a bumper crop of blackberries. The last two days we have picked about the amount shown in the colander each day. Just enough for us to have some each for supper.

Our little girl has always enjoyed foraging for edibles, in fact it has been something nice to add to our Nature Journals. Kids love to eat things they have grown, our strawberries never last, not one makes it from the poor little patch to the front door.

We came across plenty of butterflies. Having recently kept a few Monarch butterfly eggs on the Milk Thistle weed and watched them grow quickly into fat caterpillars to then form their beautiful jade green chrysalis’s with gold threading.

We placed a jug of water with the milkweed in it in a large box with a clear front. This caught all the caterpillar poop, but it also meant the larger ones when they were ready wiggles to the top to fix themselves to the ceiling of the box to begin their transformation. They were in their cocoons for about 11 days before emerging. It was beautiful to watch.

Can you see the little white dot on the leaf? That is the monarch’s egg and that plant is the milk weed. If you see it somewhere during the summer stop and check for eggs.IMG_3357There is a whole section on The Monarch butterfly in The Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock on pages 305-310 which includes a poem called A Butterfly at Sea by R H Horne. If you have not already introduced poetry into nature study why not have a go. That would count for Poetry in literature and copywork or transcription (for an older student). We try to make a Nature Journal entry at least once a week this not only builds our nature portfolios but a knowing of what is around in nature not to mention and awareness of our creator. I think that is a pretty good reason to make nature study happen.

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6 thoughts on “Brambling & Butterflies

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  1. I have ALWAYS wanted to do this with my boys. I remember doing this as a child, but not with the children. I have not seen a single monarch since we moved to Tassie, perhaps we’ll have to try this with the cabbage moths that keep destroying Nana’s garden! 🙂

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    1. You’ll have to keep an eye out for the milk thistle weed, that’s where you’ll find the eggs and caterpillars. The weed grows alongside the road near our home, so it’s easy to gather to keep the hungry little things fed.

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    1. Thank you Carol, I’m hoping to share this year after a big break from blogging. It is such a great way to look back on all we’ve done and how we’ve all grown. Thanks again for your encouragement.

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  2. Hi Renelle,

    A refreshing blog indeed! I love the tone of your writing: relax, keep calm, it’s just homeschooling! Lots of encouragement for mums who think they need to do it all. Wonderful illustrations above with the Monarch butterfly too! I’ll be including that book in my book list!

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Jessica Pilton

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