Monday, November 7, 2011

All Creatures Great and Small

The big kids climbed a mountain with their dad today, mum had the sniffles so she and little Bowerbird stayed behind. The big Bowerbird kids are great walkers and did an excellent job hiking up Mount Macedon, it helped that they had the company of friends to spur them along.  My lovely vegie group friends now have a once a month walk added to  our list of things to do together, I was sorry to miss the first walk although did a little bit of the start and shared the BBQ at the end.  The wild flowers are amazing this year, perhaps the wet winter, kind spring? In just a few short metres we saw Bearded Orchids, Milk Maids, Yam Daisies, Chocolate Lilies, Sun Orchids, Waxlip Orchids, Sundews, Paper Daisies...... I could keep rambling - shame I forgot the camera.

The big kids were feeling pretty exhausted by the afternoon and were after some TV time, but I managed to distract them with this activity.

A day at the races - take 3 beetles and four snails, draw two circles, watch and see what happens.

The beetles played dead for ages, as did one snail. One beetle disappeared down a crack, only to return later on. Little one kept putting obstacles in their way and they had to navigate the mass of fallen Wisteria blooms. Was pretty funny when a snail hitched a ride on a beetle.  Middle one told me that two of the snails were mating when they teamed up, I said I didn't think so and he offered to go and get the book from his library that talks of such things.

A great relaxing afternoon activity!  Middle Bowerbird won both races with his champion snail and beetle.

 I remembered to pick some flowers from my garden today, such a joy on the kitchen table. I just love poppies, each plant is a little mystery until those curiously shaped buds unfurl.
 We have some tiny new friends at our house.

A few months ago my friend gave me a bag of acorns for a seed/art project I am working on.  These seeds were placed in a big glass jar and put on display last week.  Little eyes were peering at our huge seed display when one pointed out that our jar had little critters in it.  At first I thought they were stick insects but they are actually baby Praying Mantis.  the eggs had stayed dormant in their acorn in a brown paper bag through the cooler months and had only emerged with the warmer weather - much to our surprise and delight.

These tiny guys are better than television, they are stalking aphids and sussing each other out, they can be cannibalistic so we are finding them new homes to separate them, in the mean time we squeal whenever they get close to each other.

Sadly we had room in our terrarium as this little caterpillar had passed away, we've been watching him for the last couple of weeks. 


 This is the face the little one pulls when she doesn't get her way.  She didn't want to let go of her little pet but I was worried he might have been getting too much love. I saw the exact same caterpillar today on the same plant I found this one on - a native bush pea that it blends in beautifully with.

Joining in with   follow the link for more great play ideas.


  1. What a fabulous post, the races were a inspired idea!

    As fascinated as I am with you having praying mantis, I'm also glad it's 'you' that has them! I'm really not good with anything bug like, so it's probably good I live in the uk!

    I love poppies, do those grow in your garden?

  2. What a great afternoon game! And what great walkers your children must be! Looks like a fun day had by all. Hope the sniffles are better.
    Jode x

  3. The day at the races looks to be a fantastic activity for relaxing after such a day. Will be remembering this for when the call of electronics lures it's ugly head.

    Praying mantis viewing sounds very exciting, too! A little gruesome as well.. :)

  4. I'm certain that caterpillar would have one the race cup! I love the idea of this cute game - takes me back to the hermit crab racing at the Four in Hand in my student days!!! x

  5. You do the best things with your kids! I love the beetle races. We did flower art yesterday - lots of fun, so thanks for that one as well.

  6. My favorite is the grumpy face and those lovely poppies


In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
Margaret Atwood

“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
"Winter is dead.”
― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young