Monday, June 17, 2013

Pond Dipping

The pond is just teeming with life and therefore makes a great focus of study. Taking care of our tadpoles at home has obliged us to make numerous trips to the nearby pond to stock up on fresh water. Each time we find ourselves ankle deep in the creek investigating the little creatures that live there.

By now we know to dress for the occasion. We pull on our wellies and arm ourselves with nets and ice-cream containers to do a bit of pond dipping. I must just point out that this is certainly not an activity limited to children. I get as much delight and enjoyment from this nature activity as my girls do.

As you can see from the picture above {if you look carefully that is}, you will notice that just above the water the air is teeming with life too! On this particular day the May Flies were enjoying the sunlight, we were fortunate enough to see a fish jump up and snatch at these delicate little flies, hoping for a snack ;o). 

The girls wasted no time in pond dipping - well... maybe a little - to admire this beautiful little bunch of wildflowers that some like-minded nature lover left for others to enjoy :o)

Come along with us for our pond dipping nature adventure...

Today is a bit of a watery day, both in the creek and out. the sun is shining but 'monkey showers' fall every no and again. We are kept quite dry by the canopy of trees above us. I step back and watch as the girls explore their surrounds.

They dragged their nets around for a few minutes.
 'There's no life in this pond!' I hear my youngest exclaim. 
'That's coz you not using the right technique.' Her sister answers.
'There's a technique to pond dipping?'
'Well - there is sort of. You need to move your net in a figure of 8 twice just over the river bed, then examine your net carefully'.
Much swirling action happening.
'Wooohooo! I got something, I got something'

We all rush over and carefully empty the net into the ice-cream container resting on the creek's bank. Sure enough there are a few worms and quite a few Caddis Fly Larvae wrapped up in their safe stick and stone homes.

'Lets find more creatures!' come the delighted cries.
So we do. We are all dipping now. Disturbing the residents that live on the creek bottoms. Some small fish, Fresh Water Shrimps, more Caddis Fly, May Fly and worms are found and are all plunged into the ice-cream bucket.

'MOM!!! the Caddis Fly are trying to eat the others!' shrieks Miss J-L

I explain that Caddis Fly Larvae are ferocious hunters, which is why we cannot take any back to our tadpole aquarium. Miss J-L is quite emotional about this, unlike her more practically  minded sister. She tries to rescue the May Fly Nymph that is coming under attack. This produces an exchange of words between the two sisters. We decide for the sake of keeping the peace all should be returned to their water homes.

The rain begins to fall and we decide to call it a day and head home for a cup of tea and to attend to our tadpole aquarium at home.

Today I don't ask the girls to record our discoveries in their nature journals. We have done this a few weeks ago. Today was simply to enjoy what the creek had to offer. Next time we will take along a Pond Viewer so that we can search the creek bottoms and observe them going about their business undisturbed.

Make Your Own Pond Viewer

A pond viewer is simply a mask of sorts that enables you to look under the water without getting wet. You can make a pond viewer using just a few simple objects from around the home. 

You will need:
* Gaffer Tape or an elastic band
* A Plastic container that you can cut the bottom out of - we used a plastic coke bottle but you could use a milk container, an old bucket a yogurt container - really, just about anything!
* Clear plastic - we used a clear page protector, but others have used plastic-wrap too.

Now - cut the bottom out of your container, I cut a bit off the top of my coke bottle too. then cover the bottom of your container with the plastic and secure with the tape or elastic band.

That's it! Really as simple as that. Now all you have to do is head on down to the pond, lower your pond viewer into the water and look in from the top.

If you are looking for some great free pond printables to take with you to the pond, hop on over to Nature Detectives to download lots of wonderful sheets and ideas.

Now... the summer equinox is just about upon us which means the official start of summer! Whoohooo! In our home that means that our nature display is due for updating so I will be back this week to show you what we have done :o).

Many Blessings All


  1. How fun is this...

    a pond viewer. I like it!!

  2. I've come over from delivering grace, although I think I've visited before. Pleased to have found you. We are doing a year long pond study and I've enjoyed looking over you pond posts over the last couple of days.


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