Sunday, December 9, 2012

Spiders in Fiordland

 Monday 3rd December

Sophie discovered a family of spiders on a piece of bark on one of the gum trees near the car park.

It was an exciting find as next to the spider was a small round white spider’s nest.  Also on the same piece of bark there was a clear sac with 2 baby spiders inside it.  We could see them moving around under the sac cover. 

Ollie said, “ We found the spider on a tree.  Sophie found it.”

Sophie said, “I found a spider and a nest, just a wee one.  It was on the tree.  There was a spider who was growing.”

When asked where they were growing, Sophie  explained her theory on why they were inside the sac.

Sophie: “It was a thing that protects it and it doesn’t fall out cos its not old enough.”

Ollie said, “It was crazy cos it couldn’t find its home.”

Morgan said, “Sophie found a spider on a piece of bark.  There was baby spiders and there was a cover over them to keep them safe in case there was danger. There were just two.  They were just moving and then they were still cos they were frightened of all the people around them. We put them back where they were cos they’ve got nature.

On the same tree where we found the spider and her babies, we discovered an even bigger spider. The children decided that it must be the Daddy spider. We also found another spider nest that had many babies inside it.

Morgan said, “The big Daddy spider on the tree, it was the other spider we found.”
John caught the spider so that the children could get a closer look at it.

Ollie and Morgan were very courageous and let the spider crawl on their hands.

 Morgan said, “He was hanging off me with his web.  It feeled like (the web) like the soft thing on the baby spiders that we found.  The cover around the baby spiders. We dropped it a bit but John put it back on the tree cos he was scared of us.”

Ollie said, “I shake it off when it landed on my hand.”

John opened up a nest so the children could see the baby spiders on Ollie’s hand.  They were very tiny.

Ollie said,”The babies were in there, in a sac. They were racing around.  Lots and lots of baby spiders.  They were tickly.”

Sophie said, “Ollie had a lot of little spiders on Ollie’s hand.  They were in the tree as well.”

Morgan said, “These tiny ones were in the nest and Ollie put them in his pocket to put them in his spider cage at home.”

Everyone was fascinated by the spiders and we were able to see how the babies remained protected until they were big enough and old enough to venture out and explore the world and make their own homes.

Who needs video, DVD or TV when you can experience it in the flesh.  You can  see, hear, feel/touch and smell what is around you.  There isn't a better way to explore, experience and learn.  
The photos say it all!!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Finding a Tui

It's always a sad surprise when we discover a dead native bird.  Today we found a dead Tui, the children took turns at sharing their thoughts about how it died.  What made this discovery a wee bit different was this Tui was wearing a tag on it's leg.  We decided that we should take the Tui to the DOC staff at the bird park so they could investigate a bit more about the tag for us.  While at the bird park we got to feed some ducks they came right up to us and took the grass from our hands.  We also saw the Takehe and John showed us the special part of the plant they eat.  We stripped the hard outer layer of the tussock off and inside was a nice white middle, this is the part the Takehe like, John said that we could eat it too so we all had a taste some liked it and some of us didn't.  Another exciting event to happen was Jasper's pet duck Wilson came to see us.  He has grown into a nice big Paradise duck, Wilson was very friendly and let us touch him, I think he remembered us.  Paris our visiting College student managed to catch a mallard duck and the children were very excited to be able to see the different colours, the nice soft feathers under it's wing and touch it's webbed feet.  All in all a very exciting day at Nature Discovery, no wonder we are all a wee bit tired this afternoon.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

There was a hive of activity at Nature Discovery today.  We found a small rotten log that when we touch it, it fell into two pieces.  Inside there were 6 huhu grubs in various stages of metamorphosing  into huhu beetles.  It was the first time that we had witness this so after everyone had a good look we covered them back up.  The children wanted to make sure they were extra protected and put other logs and pine leaves around them to keep them safe.  What an amazing discovery and one we will never forget.  Some of the children got really creative with nature and made wreaths, broom flower arrangements and colourful pictures.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fun in the Sun in Fiordland

Wednesday 7th November 2012

It was a beautiful sunny Fiordland day at Nature Discovery.
We decided to go to the 'Rotten Log' to see if the water had gone.
When we got there, we discovered that there was even more water than last time.
We all had fun exploring and discovering different ways to get up the grassy hill.  Some of us went through the water and others skirted around the edges to find tracks through the scrub.
We had fun playing in the water, you could see the grass floating near the top of the water.  It made the puddle look green.  Kaira loved being in the water, feeling the grass and finding logs hidden under the water.

 There was a log stretching across the water and going up above the bank on the other side.  We all enjoyed the challenge of balancing as we crossed it. One branch looked like the antlers on a deer so we called it a 'Stag Tree.  
 Kaira said, "I like climbing to the top and then I sat on the top.  It is a Stag tree because it has antlers ears like a real deer.  It feeled lumpy and I can see far away places."
 Greer said, "I'm jumping in the puddle.  It was cold and I got wet.  I balanced on the tree, it was a bit tricky.  I climbed the tree and I saw a birdie."
 Nina said, "I had lots of fun playing on the tree and in the puddle.  I got really messy and I fell in. We didn't take out the tools, that was really good, we didn't have to tidy up. The water was really gooey."
 Grace and Tom found tracks to get up the hill and found a nice place in the sun in the grass where they could see what everyone was doing.
Grace said, " I played in the mud and sit on the big hill.  I saw all the people down in the mud, playing in the mud and having morning tea too.   I liked it up on the hill cos it was comfy."
 Tom said, " I crashed through the bushes cos I had to get through straight ahead in the middle of the bushes. I got to the top of the hill.  I saw people and grass and I pulled the grass.  It was a bit comfy.  I saw stuff that I couldn't see when I was on the ground."

Monday, October 22, 2012

Spring in Fiordland

Wednesday 17th October 2012

What I beautiful day, Spring has sprung.

We had 5 new children to Nature Discovery so the other children thought that we should show them the Gnuff's house. We made some discoveries on the way.
Ella said, " We found flowers on the tree.  There were leaves on there.  The flower was pink when they was closed.  When they was open they was white."
 On the way we stopped at the Crab Apple Tree to see if there were any changes.  And there were!!!  It was covered in blossoms.
Kaira said, " I just saw a flower and I smelled it. It smelled nice.  The tree had flowers and leaves.  It didn't have anything when we saw it the first time."
 Nina said, "It was all flowery.  It had lots of red buds and nice leaves.  Some of the leaves in the stormy days had fallen off."
 The climbing trees had new leaves too.  One tree had red stalks and new green leaves starting to sprout.
Kaira said, " The climbing tree, it had buds.  They are like flowers, they are little buds for now.  The old leaves have fallen off and now they are growing new leaves."
 After lunch back at the shed, we played in the mud puddles by the dirt hills.
Tom said, "I was playing in the mud with Grace. It was like a mud bath, pigs play in mud. I slipped on the mud, I got my hand dirty.  Grace printed the mud on the board and the tree.  I liked the mud cos it was lovely to get dirty in the mud."
 Grace decided to put hand prints on the tree and soon everyone joined in to decorate the tree.  She then decorated the ramp with hand prints.
 Nina said, "The mud was really dirty.  I played sticking the trees with mud because it was fun."
 Kaira said, "We were putting hand prints on the tree cos we used the mud.  We put our hand in it and then we put it on the tree like 'high fives'.  I liked playing in the mud cos I got dirty.  I put mud on my face cos I wanted to, to make me look funny and make me laugh."
 Tom said, "Grace printed mud on the tree."
Ella said, "I putted mud on the tree.  I putted my hands in the mud.  I feeled like I was touching the tree.  I like playing in the mud cos I really like MUD."
Another great day.  The look of joy on the children's faces and discovery and inventiveness while playing in the mud is priceless.  Such a fabulous medium to enjoy!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Relaxation and fun outdoors style.

Nature Discovery, what a great way to start the new term.  The children all enjoyed slowing down and chilling around the fire, I guess holidays can be really busy!  Imagination and creativity was running strong.  Talia created a beautiful picture using natures resources that she found, Chris built his own ladder so he could reach the top of the branch to build and hammer the new shelter.  Jorja used the old rotten log to practice her balancing skills and Amber and her friends made a walking track around the trees.  One of our favourite spots, the rotten log was still underwater and it was fun throwing the rocks and stones in and watching the big splashes and ripples they made.  It was funny when Talia's Dad pretended to throw her in and her gumboot really did fall in.  The challenge was how to get her boot out, thank goodness for big long fishing sticks!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mud & Puddles in Fiordland

Monday 17th September 2012

It had been and raining most of the weekend and today was also wet.  There were many water puddles and mud puddles around the park.
Not far from the car park there was a large puddle of water which one of the children said was "little Lake Henry".  We all thought that it would be great fun to lay in it but decided that we would go back to the car park early at the end of the day to play in it.

After lunch, when the sun was trying to make an appearance we played in the mud puddles near the shed.  It was great fun and soon our yellow and orange jackets were the colour of mud.

Ollie said, "I jumped in the mud, it splashed Judy, didn't it. I got mud all over me cos I was lying down in the mud."

Jazmine said, "I liked playing in the mud, we splashed and we done tricks when we go in the mud."

We went back to the car park early so we could play in the large puddle.  We thought it would be a great way to wash all the mud off our wet weather gear and it DID!!!!.
We had a great time!!!!

Talia siad, "I went in the puddle. I lay-ed down in the puddle to get my hair wet.  It was cold water.  The puddle was up to my knees.  I got all wet.  I did splashed and run in the puddle.  I hope it's still there so I can play in it again."

Ollie said, "I'm in a lake.  I am splashing and sat down.  It was fun because I liked it, I just LIKED it.  If you splash it, it all comes up."

Jazmine said, "I went in the 'lake' and splashed and we tried to swim in the 'lake'.  We just splashed in the 'lake' because I just ly-ed down in the water because I just love it.  Ollie and me, because we are cheeky rascals.  The water was cold but it was fun. I LOVED it."

It was a perfect ending to a great day.  Even though the weather was wet, we still had another fabulous day at Nature Discovery.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fiordland visited by the bug man Rudd Kleinpaste

Lilli :– Rudd brought Dorothy, an insect, a weta, her back legs sticked on to my hand.  He helped us find bugs – millipedes, caterpillars and spiders.  He was funny when he hided his cap in his arms.  Please come and see us again.
Children showing Rudd the rotten log we visit to find insects
 We had very exciting visits to Nature Discovery Rudd Kleinpaste the "Bug Man"and Di Paton from Kids Restore New Zealand.
We met at the shed, introduced ourselves and then the children took great delight in showing our visitors around the Park.

First we took them to the rotten log where we often find insects. We found millipedes, caterpillars and spiders.
Rudd then brought out Dorothy the Weta which the children absolutely loved.  The photos tell the story.

Morgan:-  I was looking after him, welcoming him. Rudd you had a weta on your nose, you were crying with a weta on your nose. Rudd, he told us about the bugs we find there, - dark bugs.  I was very brave and let the weta on me and I didn’t move. Mum said he has a new appreciation of insects, so much so, that it took 20 minutes to bike to Kindergarten because he didn’t want to bike over any bugs!”

Ollie -: I like his weta I liked holding it.  Please come again.  I hope we find a stick insect next time

Chris:  Rudd helped us look for bugs. 

Jazmine:-  Thankyou Rudd for telling us about the bugs.  I like Rudd

 The children then took our visitors to the Gnuff house and then on to where we found the stick insect last week.

Thanks Rudd and Di for visiting we really enjoyed your company.

Talia :– I found a bug with Rudd – a caterpillar, and a millipede. He was funny.