April 12, 2010

exploring banggerreng

“Colourful galangarridjgalangarridj,
dragonflies of gold and brown,
dart around catching insects. 
They tell us it is Banggerreng time.”
We’ve been using the book Walking with the Seasons in Kakadu, by Diane Lucas, as a guide to help us spot the signs of the changing seasons.  During late March and April in North Australia, as the monsoon finishes and clear skies arrive the season is Banggerreng
  • the tall spear grasss falls over from knock ‘em down storms.  Spear grass is a very common grass that grows during the wet season.  One end of the seed is very sharp and when ripe they fall to the ground and stick in like spears.
  • waterlilies spread across the floodplains
  • bamurru, the magpie geese, make their nests.  Magpie Geese gather in large breeding colonies in the wetlands.  They form lifelong family trios, one male and two females, and share parenting duties.
  • at night you hear the call of djurrul, the tawny frogmouth
  • dragonflies dart across the lawn
We’ve also noticed
  • the reappearance of blue skies, although they are still filled with clouds, which will disappear as the dry season continues
  • many snakes around our garden
  • the fresh green look of all the trees, after their new growth in the wet
And when walking the other day we saw this …
It is a nest of the processionary caterpillar, Ochrogaster lunifer, although we call them ‘itchy grubs’ or ‘acid grubs’.because if you touch them (or if the nest falls on you) you get a very bad, itchy rash.  After they leave the nest the caterpillars follow each other top to tail in a long procession (hence the name).  You can see more pictures and find out more information here.
We’ve also recently discovered another lovely book about the north Australian Aboriginal Seasonal Calendar Ernie Dances to the Didgeridoo, by Alison Les  ter.  This book describes many of the Aboriginal cultural activities undertaken in each season, as well as painting a picture of life in a small, remote Aboriginal community.


miss carly said...

Oh wow! This is fantastic! You implement such holistic learning with your children!

Debi said...

I love how you take your inside ideas (reading a book about the changing of the seasons) outside for more learning. I'd love for us to do more of that. I think it might also be fun to do some reading about the outside outdoors. :)

SquiggleMum said...

I love these posts about the uniqueness of your local environment. Keep 'em coming!!