31 March 2013

Butterfly beauty and science

One day last week Anna had a day off school with a cold.

When I went out to collect the eggs, a monarch butterfly landed on my shoulder. The chicken coop is right next to our large but well eaten and aphid-infested swan plant.

Of course Anna was delighted to have the butterfly on her.


We took it inside and put it on some flowers, where it seemed happy. Its wings were fresh and undamaged, and every now and then it flapped them. I think it was freshly hatched.





Anna thought it might turn into a caterpillar, so I drew out the lifecycle for her.


Then she drew one of her own.


Later we put the flowers in the sun, which is where I've seen freshly hatched butterflies choosing to rest and flap before. In an hour or so it fluttered away.


Look what I found a day or two later: what can you spot on the pea frame, about a 3 metre slow ooch from the swan plant?

Why do they have such beautiful golden flecks, I wonder?

Anna seemed to have a nice little 'home schooling' day. I also taught her about when and where to use an apostrophe, because I am so intolerant of incorrect punctuation that I can't even stand my six year old getting it wrong! In the afternoon she spent some time on YouTube watching something she's recently discovered and loved called 'Numberjacks'. But when I asked if she really liked the maths programme - because I could hear that it was very mathsy - she insisted it wasn't about maths! It was too much fun to be about maths, I think.

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