[Educators Note: If use Monarch
Butterflies to teach about metamorphosis or butterflies this is
excellent time to start preparing for another part of the lesson... the
only food that the caterpillars can eat is it's host plant, the
milkweed. These plants are dispersing seeds right now so it is a great
time to collect seeds for a spring project. You can germinate the seeds
in class in the spring, or pass them out to students to grow at home,
or set aside a little area of the school grounds for planting. You
might even think about starting a native plant section. And if you
plant it there is a good chance that eventually the butterflies will
visit and lay eggs. If you need help finding or identifying the seeds
let me know and I will give you a hand.]
The season is marching on. Last week we had a
couple of very hard frosts. Above are two photos of New England Asters.
The first was taken in mid September, the second one in the last week.
The weather has actually warmed up again but immediately around me many
of the leaves are already down. Asters and goldenrod heads were all
encased in frost. When I looked very close at the stems I could see
that a lot of them had tiny seeds stuck to them.
Not all of the birds are migrating away from this area, some are
actually coming to us. Yesterday I saw the first snow bunting of the
year. These are beautiful little birds that actually come down here to
over winter from the arctic. They have more white on them than any
other song bird. Soon there will be small flocks of them along the
fields and roads and when they fly they all flash their white wing
patches and it seems as if a snow flurry is flying up into the air.