Recap of the week - new macro technique and critters saw during Enrichment camp

While experimenting with my Nikon P&S lately, I found out that if I hold my small hand lens (for plant identification) in front of the P&S lens, then I can get a pretty decent close-up photo of the critter/flower (but I need to get very close).

I took photos of this spider just outside my office window on Monday.

On Tuesday and Thursday, I assisted with two of the mini-course programs held here at Trent.  One was getting elementary students "Wild About Nature!", and the second was teaching students about "Habitat and Organisms".  It has been a while since I worked with children, but it's quite rewarding especially now that I am teaching them about nature.

For "Wild About Nature!", we first made a field kit, consisting of a clinometer, a plant press, and an insect-collecting container.  We then took the children outside to measure tree heights using the clinometer.  We also played games with the children - one called "Predator & Prey" (three trophic levels - grasshoppers, orioles, and hawks) and one with three different feeding apparatuses (modified plastic knifes, spoons, and forks) to collect different prey types.  We also took the children outside to collect plants and insects.
I took the two photos below with the new set-up while the kids were running around looking for things to press and put into their containers.


There is an ant visiting the strawberry flower.

There was a flowering tree with many insects visiting the flowers, but the children ripped down a lot of the branches for their plant collection.  I went back to the tree (with my DSLR) after the camp ended to photograph the insects.

Trying to photograph a Syrphid in-flight.

Photographing insects in-flight is probably even more difficult than birds-in-flight.  Syrphids and dragonflies are the easiest (relatively speaking) because of their ability to hover and stay in one spot in the air.

Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)
Yellow Warblers are back.

Fly-kicking Yellow Warbler
Got this strange photo of the warbler taking off from the branch.  Almost like a flying-kick.

On Monday, I found this dead caterpillar on the ground.  I brought it to my office and didn't figure the species until Wednesday.  It was a Ctenucha virginica, and its adult form is the Virginia Ctenucha Moth that I photographed before.

Caught a spider in my room on Wednesday and photographed it last night.

For the second program "Habitat & Organisms", we taught the students how to identify flowers, trees, frog calls, bones in owl pellets, and aquatic insects.  I think the children had a lot of fun doing these kind of things, especially when it comes to running around outside and trying to identify things for prizes.


I like the part where we went out to a pond near Trent and collected water to look at aquatic insects under the dissecting microscope.  This is a dragonfly larvae, isn't it cute?  The above photo was taken with the P&S and below with the DSLR.

Have a nice weekend.

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