Monday, July 6, 2009

Life in a Queen Anne's Lace Flower

Queen Annes' Lace (Dacus carota) is blooming all over our yard right now. The Little Ladies and I love hunting for the QAL with the "prick of blood" floret in the center. We noticed that some of the florets seemed to be moving in a way that flowers don't usually move. We had to take a closer look at this "wild carrot" and see what exactly was there.




We started to see little critters camouflaged in the white florets so we grabbed some black construction paper, thinking this would be the best way to see them. We also grabbed the magnifying glasses because most of the critters are very tiny.



Araina did gentle shakes to encourage the critters off the flower; Fauna's method was a little less gentle. She took two flower heads and did a "gentle" rubbing spin; I'm surprised the critters actually made it onto the paper and didn't go flying everywhere!




We found tiny spiders, leafhoppers, inchworms and some other little creatures we have never seen before. Some of the white specks on this paper are actually little bugs!



The Little Ladies recorded their findings in their nature journals and Fauna was poetically inspired to write a poem (but wouldn't let me share it). It was about the fact that when you pick a flower, you're picking more than just the flower.


I just love finding little habitats in the least expected places and seeing where this takes the Little Ladies!

13 comments:

The Magic Onions said...

This reminds me of Horton Hears a Who. It's the one and only movie I have taken K to... who would have known that a 4 year old would find the idea of a speck lost in a field of purple flowers unbearable? We had to leave... I am giggling now thinking of it... thanks for bringing the memory back.

Helen said...

what a great activity!

Tara said...

Horton Hears A Who came to mind for me as well.

I keep looking for some queen anne's lace ~ we have something similar but it is more dense with larger blossoms like yarrow.

nettlejuice said...

Critters, critters everywhere!
Yesterday the boys and I gazed in delight at dozens of tiny bees busily gathering pollen in the calendula patch. Their legs were filled with pollen. So magical.

Anet said...

What a great learning experience!
That when you pick a flower, you're picking more than just a flower.

affectioknit said...

That reminds me of Horton Hears a Who...
I always loved Queen Anne's Lace as a child - we have it too here and we've even eaten the wild carrots from it...

slim pickins said...

I wish we had more around here! I keep thinking of your nature rule - if there's more than 10, you can take one, if there's less, then leave them, and darn it, the only ones i'm finding in abundance are along the busiest roadways!! my girls would love this.

Kelly said...

Wonderful acitivity. We are always amazed here by what an abundance of insects can be found in such a tiny area.

Annie said...

Amazing! We'll have to take a closer look next time. Reminds me to slow down and really absorb a moment...

A Magical Childhood said...

I always enjoy your posts and love your focus on nature and slowing down. I've passed your blog on to friends and have you in my feed to start the day on an inspirational note.

This post in particular reminded me of when I just had my two little girls and the things we'd do together. Our life was always a bit crazier than yours seems but when my boys came along it became a true three ring circus. I love the mayhem, but it's nice to glimpse into calm lives sometimes! :)

Thanks for another inspirational post.

Mom, M.Ed. (Jessica) said...

Neat!

You know...in regard to tiny, "hidden" critters...I had to ask Benjamin to stop eating nasturtium leaves directly off the plants because it occurred to me he might be eating a bug by mistake.

The other day he drove by our nasturtium on his tricycle, leaned down and bit a leaf right off its stem! Later, we discovered a teeny tiny caterpillar on the basil (right next to the nasturtium)...so now we have a strict "look before you bite" rule!

sheila said...

Hi, I'm new here. :)
Such a cute post! And how weird that I just picked one of these with my little niece today. I had no clue as to the name of the flower. So ironic.

jumbleberryjam said...

Another awesome day of exploration. I love it!!