Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Rebirth, Rejuvenation, Regeneration

The Log Motel!

The Spark:
It's the first day of spring, a time for renewal and regrowth. It's A perfect time to discover how nature renews itself by checking out a fallen, dead log that you may stumble upon in a nearby patch of nature.  But wait a minute, take a closer look.  The log is not so dead at all!  What you see on the outside, what is going on on the inside, and what is happening beneath this log is one of nature's many awesome processes.  Take a close look at the log in the image above (click on the image to get a better look.)  It is splattered with fungi, lichen, and mosses on the outside.  On the inside, a plethora of bugs, mites, slime moulds, and other tiny organisms are all working towards one goal for the good of the Earth.  They have all take up house in this dead log and are decomposing it, turning it into life giving, nutrient packed soil.  They are the soil magicians.  It's a virtual party in this log motel!  Let's take a closer look...

Calling all Super Natural Superheroes to ACTIVATE!  Are you interested in finding out how nature restores, rejuvenates, regenerates, and recycles itself into a life giving force?  If so, take a look at a log motel to see who and how it is being turned into one of the most fundamental elements in nature, soil!  Start your quest with the question WHY?

Start Your Quest:
Why:  To honor the first day of spring, we will explore the amazing way nature rejuvenates, regenerates, restores, and recycles itself.
What:  To look at a fallen or dead log and discover who has come together to help decompose it into soil.
Where:  In a nearby patch of nature.
Who: You, your family and friends.
When:  As soon as you can get yourself organized.
How:  Find out below.  It's a S.N.CH., or is it!

Take Action:

First, find a log motel!
Go on a nature hike in a nearby patch of nature.
Find a fallen, dead log that has a splattering of mosses, fungi, and lichen growing on it.
Take a picture of it for your nature log or sketch what you see.

Take a scraping of lichen:
Use a knife (ask an adult to help you), to carefully scrape a sample of lichen into a small container and take it back to your lab to examine it under a microscope.
*Request for a RE-QUEST:  To reconnect with our lichen quest, click here: Nature's Magical, Miniature Worlds

Mushrooms are a good source of nutrition:
Visit your local grocery store to find out what varieties of mushrooms are sold in your area.  Find out about the health benefits of mushrooms: mushrooms.  Cook with mushrooms and taste the different varieties (ask an adult to help.)  Look at the mushrooms to see how they are formed.  What are the parts of a mushroom?

Learn how to compost:
Ask an adult to help you set up a composting area in your backyard.

*Request for a RE-QUEST:  To reconnect with our leaf compost quest click here: So Much Mulch!

Learn about other decomposers:
*Request for a RE-QUEST:  To reconnect with our worm quest click here: subterranean wigglers

Don't Stop Here:
Keep on researching and finding out more about nature's decomposers.  Who knows, it may turn out to be one of your great passions in life.  And to think it could have all started right here, on this very quest.  If you have a hunch about something just drop us an email and we'll give it a whirl and get back to you with more quests.

Quest Check:  
We are very interested in keeping you interested on your quest to find out more about nature.  Check back with us on a regular basis to see if your interests match our quests.

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