Go Mothing! Attract Moths using a White Sheet
Moths come in an incredible diversity of colors, patterns and shapes! While butterflies might receive a bit more love and attention, moths are actually much more diverse and evolved long before butterflies! North America has over 11,000 species of moths! Most moths are nocturnal. These insects are ecologically important pollinators for plants and flowers during the night. Learn how to attract moths using a white sheet so you can observe these night-time critters up close.
Dissect an Owl Pellet
Learn about owl pellets! Adult owls swallow their prey whole in most cases. An owl's digestive system cannot break down skulls, claws, bones, fur, teeth and feathers. And so, these materials do not pass through the owl. An owl's gizzard mushes these extras into a tight mush called a "Pellet." Owls then spit out this pellet from their mouth. Pellets can be often found at the ground near an owl's nest. Pellets tell you the story behind an owl's most recent meal! Students and researchers can learn about the owl's favorite animals to hunt and the number of small mammals that live nearby.
Leaf Chromatography: Discover the Pigments in Leaves
Plant pigments provide leaves and flowers with their beautiful range of colors - from green to red, orange and yellow. Pigments also influence photosynthesis, plant growth and pollination. Chlorophyll is used to make energy from sunlight. With a strong sun and long days in the Spring and Summer, chlorophyll is produced in high quantity. It provides leaves with their bright green color! As the seasons change from Summer to Fall, the days get shorter and the temperature becomes colder. Less sunlight means that plants stop making chlorophyll in the Fall. With less chlorophyll, the other pigments - orange, yellow and red - begin to show! And this is why leaves change colors in the Fall!