daily prompt

Lichens

What are Lichens? Lichens are made up of two things.  Firstly a fungus and secondly an algae or cyanobacteria. The relationship the organisms have is called symbiosis.  In other words, they help each other, a type of partnership. Fungi can’t photosynthesize, that is, make their own food from sunlight but the algae or cyanobacteria can. The fungus is the dominant partner in the relationship and gives the lichens it’s form and structure. And collects water. Lichens can be found growing in all kinds of harsh climates where other organism would not survive (e.g. desserts and the Arctic).

Lichens on rock

Lichens

On the photo above see if you can spot three different lichens?

Lichens come in all shapes and sizes and can be found growing on rocks, trees, deadwood, and on the ground.

 

For more information 

Kids Britannia here.

Mosses, ferns and Lichens (Wildlife Trust UK)

 

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Monday Fun Fact

Did you know –

A bumblebee can travel up to 6km daily to visit flowers – this is the equivalent of a person walking around the globe 10 times to get to the shops!

So why not consider growing some bee friendly flowers in your garden this year, to help these exquisite bees find enough energy to complete these amazing journeys!

Bumblebee on dandelion

Bumblebee on dandelion

For more information on bumblebees and some great activities check out the following link:

http://bumblebeeconservation.org/get-involved/bumble-kids/

School garden – harvesting

The success of the school garden is something I feel proud off. The garden is not big and our achievements are as yet small, but I feel the value the children get from learning how to grow food, or just learning that from a small seed a pumpkin grows, is huge.

Last week we harvested some of our crop and I made a big saucepan of soup, which some (though admittedly not all) the children enjoyed!

In total, we have seven pumpkins; some lovely fresh kale (though the caterpillars from the adjoining broccoli plant are just moving across), leeks, onions, beans, carrots, parsnip (they never got thinned so many are very thin!) and parsley.

 

For me the greatest value is seeing how much the children enjoy being in the garden; whether it is just the small ones relishing in digging holes, or some of the older ones remembering that “I planted those pumpkins and those beans” and now they are harvesting the rewards.

 

Learning in the woods

We had a wonderful day of learning at our local nature school today. Woods are wonderful places to visit with children. This wood is a native woodland, being managed by traditional means such as coppicing. Bernard and Zane run many courses here including forest schools, wild foraging, school visits and woodland management courses.  Today’s “Wonder of the Woods” day was a family day.


We were there to help talk about the wonderful diverse wildlife from birds, insects to woodland flora.

The kids enjoyed running about, climbing,  building shelters, making charcoal pencils, and leaf rubbings.

Charcoal pencil

Charcoal pencil

Afterwards we enjoyed sausages cooked on an open fire, and for dessert toasted marshmallows! A perfect end to a great day. And a big thank you to Bernard and Zane and all their family.