school garden

school garden

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Plenty of chips please!

Today we were very lucky to have several small lorry loads of bark and wood chips delivered for use in the school garden. They will come in very useful to patch up several areas where the existing bark chips have thinned or even disappeared. We are extremely grateful for this delivery and thank our benefactor very much.

The wood chip pile

Spreading out the load ready for use

The fine weather in the past two days lent itself to some maintenance in the school pond. During the work a little pond dipping could not be resisted.  The school pond always turns up something interesting. Again it did not fail.  A freshly emerged, first stage nymph of a dragonfly - the scientific name is a stadium - was discovered along with many smaller more developed nymphs of damselflies.  Several small newts were also found.

The very small dragonfly nymph- possibly Libellula depressa

Dragonfly and damselfly nymphs together

You can just make out the feathery 'tails' on the smaller damselfly nymphs. (Click on picture to enlarge things a little) These are called caudal lamellae and look like three leaf-like structures protruding from the abdomen of the damselfly larvae; these provide the main means of respiration and may also be involved in defence. The shape, relative lengths and patterning of these caudal lamellae are important features in species identification.

Young newt - you can just make out the rear legs growing

A little bit of fine weather now with things warming up should give the frogs a chance to meet up and produce some frog spawn. Frog spawn has appeared in some ponds  in Dorchester already so we await events here at Holy Trinity.

The crocuses are also looking good at the moment and well worth a look

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