by Stefani on 17-February-2010

Creek Walking

There are four new pairs of wellies in this house… and they have opened up a whole new world to us…

… a very small, very magical world.

We’ve been creek walking… and bringing home mini monsters in jelly jars.

Water Samples

We’ve been huddled ’round the microscope, holding our breath and watching, completely smitten with the weird and wondrous things that live in the water… things with horns and tails and bodies that envelope and absorb their prey.

And yeah… I think that no matter how hot it gets this summer, they’ll never, EVER, be tempted again to drink the water straight from the lake or river. Lesson learned.

In the case that you’re interested in investigating some smaller than small life forms too, here’s some of our favorite resources and refereces:

1. We have two microscopes. Both were gifts. One is very very fancy and one is this very modest starter model. I have to tell you that while the fancy one is really neat and very powerful, the “lesser” one works just about as well for our purposes. So, if you are thinking of delving into the microscopic world but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg, I think that you’ll be very pleased with this starter version.

2. A World In a Drop of Water – a fascinating look at common water critters and the history of microscopy.

3. The World of the Microscope – a perfect companion to a new microscope. Lots of ideas for experiments and investigations to be found here.

4. Adventures With a Microscope – A small book packed with information – 59 activities for microscope exploration!

5. Pond Water Zoo – why oh why oh WHY don’t they reprint this one? We keep on borrowing it and one of these days I’m going to have to break down and fork over the cash for a copy of our own. It’s that good.

Here’s to small wonders!

Sarah :: greenclogs February 17, 2010 at 10:28 pm

I love it! We currently have a freshwater clam habitat going on the windowsill. I need to get a microscope for Annika to further explore the habitat’s smaller critters.

Stefani February 18, 2010 at 8:54 am

You’ll be totally amazed at all that lives in there!
Our biggest complaint is always that we can’t all see at once. Our fancy one has the capability to hook up to a screen. I’m going to have to invest in the right cords one of these days so that we can do that.
And how are the clams? Myboys are always wanting to bring them home from the lake!

Lucia February 18, 2010 at 2:52 am

ooooh yes, lots to check out in this post. we have been wearing our boots and doing lots of puddle jumping lately but haven’t brought any of our water finds home…once my son sees this I have a feeling we will be surrounded by jars of creatures, too. I have been wanting to get a microscope so this is very timely info. thanks!

Stefani February 18, 2010 at 8:56 am

You’re so welcome! Have a blast!

Just Peaches February 18, 2010 at 9:45 am

AWK! You’re killing me with all your beautiful spring pictures. We won’t be in wellies here in Canada for another two months! Can’t wait for the water to thaw!

Jenny L. February 18, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Wow, I think you read my mind. I have been wanting to get a microscope for the boys for a few months now and was just stalled at trying to figure out an affordable model that wasn’t “cheap”. Thanks for the recommendation!

Maestra February 18, 2010 at 8:52 pm

We’re at least a month away from wellie weather here as well, but I’m doing a little happy dance this evening as I discover that “Pond Water Zoo” was one of my $0.25 grabs at the last library book sale! Off to check out the microscope link and plan for spring!

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