On October 3, students of Outdoor School went to the arboretum to meet Chris Earley, a staff member of the arboretum. Chris took us all out to a field of goldenrod supplied with a net, a jar, and an information sheet to catch some bugs and learn all about them!
We discussed the importance of biodiversity, and touched on the many species living within the university’s campus arboretum!
One of the most interesting was the dragonflies. I used to believe you should never touch the wings of bugs since they are so fragile. Turns out, in order to hold a dragonfly, you must hold it’s wings together. Chris explained the very interesting way some bugs reproduced and why it worked that way. Even though I am not very fond of bugs, it was fascinating to see how each tiny organism contributes to an ecosystem in it’s own way.
Each bug we caught had something we could learn from it. Even the ladybugs, which almost everyone can identify! From asking questions, we learned that the yellow ones are actually NOT poisonous, as many of us were led to believe. We found a ladybug larvae as well, and learned that only adult insects have wings. The class was taught that it is traditional to release a dragonfly by setting it to perch on one’s nose, and wait for it to fly away. A few people were able to do that! What a unique experience!