Some days, our time together just is pure magic. Do you know what I mean? Similar to last Thursday, when our Thursday Foxes focused on nests, and then low and behold, a nest came to us... Monday's Foxes were equally lucky this week! Here's what happened:
We started our afternoon talking about dragonflies and the changes they go through. Last week at the pond, we had fished out many dragonfly nymphs (babies) with our nets, and observed them in a bin for a while. We learned that they move quickly by shooting water out of their bums/abdomens! We thought that was pretty funny.
This is a dragonfly nymph below in an ice cube tray for observation. Some are as big as this one, and some are tiny. This one looks like it's almost ready to climb up onto a reed and transform into a flying dragonfly.
In the nymph stage, dragonflies are skilled predators, hunting for mosquito larvae, smaller dragonfly nymphs, diving beetles, small fish, tadpoles, and other small water insects. They have an amazing jaw too!
We talked about the dragonfly life cycle: how they start out as eggs, then hatch into nymphs, spend up to 4 years in the water, then one day, climb up onto a reed or log and crack out of their casing to become a flying dragonfly! The dragonfly stage only lasts for about 10 weeks! 90% of their lives is spent in the aquatic stage... amazing!
Well, maybe you can guess what happened next... one of our Foxes found a dragonfly at the edge of the pond. It was so new that its wings were still stuck together - and its abdomen was dripping a little bit. We looked around the log where it was sitting. Close by, we could see its casing, or exuviae - the shell it had shed in order to become a flying dragonfly.
It was quite exciting to watch! We were very still, just watching the dragonfly be still.
Our time would not be complete without some time to play and make believe in the forest and hunt for creepy crawly creatures under logs.
Hammers, Huge Swings, and the Freedom to Play