Welcome to week 7 of our one year pond study. For the rest of the posts in this series please see here.
The pond was so quiet this week, there weren’t many photos to be had. Nesting perhaps? There was the odd duck having a sleep:
And that was it really.
This week I wanted to study the water in greater depth. We did a bit about water in week 2 when we studied the pollution in the pond. So far this pond study has been more about looking, watching and enjoying. I wanted to push it a little bit deeper. So my goals for this week were as followed:
- Level of the water (including measures to control the water-ecology/ conservation)
- Water temperature
- Water Clarity
- Water pH
- Microscopic life found in the water (concentrating primarily on this)
Do you remember the ‘No Fishing’ sign from week 2?
Well, it’s almost buried now:
A few weeks ago the children were wondering what happened when there was too much rain. So I told them to look around the pond’s edge and see if they could discover for themselves. They came across this:
The pond is situated on the side of a road and when it used to fill up, it overflowed onto the road, flooding it. The conservators have dug a ditch the other side of the road and laid an overflow pipe which goes directly under the road to overflow into the ditch, preventing any flooding.
Next T11 measured the temperature of the water:
The temperature of the water was 11 degrees Celsius. We didn’t take the temperature last time, but I’ll be doing it monthly from now on and I’ll chart it at the end of the year.
Last time we checked the clarity by looking at the water when we returned home, which we still did, but L10 also checked it out through our periscope:
Water pH we checked as before and it was the same at 8. I’m really looking forward to seeing if this changes at all as the weather heats up (if, in deed, it ever does!).
Next was, for all of us, the really fun part:
The exciting part was yet to come. Years ago we had found a TV screen microscope, which magnifies things by 50, at a charity shop. I made up some slides for the children using a long pipette and trying to ‘capture’ any movement I saw. One by one we put them under the microscope to see what we could see. Using this website (which I really, really, really recommend) and its very clear and helpful sheet, we attempted to identify anything we saw:
Copepod (from the website above): long antennae, tiny eyespot: 0.5 – 3 mm
Oligochaete worms (Phylum Annelida, Class Oligochaetae)(from the website above) have bristles which are used to grip when creeping between water plants or when on the bottom of a pond. Like many pond organisms they are very transparent. Their internal organs are clearly visible. Their stomach always give a nice glimpse of their prey.
I can’t tell you how much fun this was! After I had done all I had wanted to, I left the children to explore. They were there for ages, making up slides and looking for more life. It was so good! I might have to get the children to do a microscopic analysis of the pond water each week, so we can build a clear picture of all the life there is to found in a pond. Loving our pond study!