“We are Western Leopard Toads. Princess Vlei is a good place for us to live because there are lots of insects for us to eat. There is water where we can breed, and soft reeds where we and our young ones can hide. But we need to watch out for big fish and snakes that might eat us.” - Hillwood Primary Learners
On March 10, 45 learners from four local schools discovered how to look at the world through they eyes of a different species. Some where leopard toads, some chameleons, masked weavers, double collared sunbirds, purple gallinules and dragon flies. They explored Princess Vlei to find out if they could live there as that species. They had to see if they could find the right food, places to hide for predators, a place to breed, nesting materials if their species built nests, and they had to check for any predators or other dangers.
The learners spent a great afternoon exploring the vlei with different eyes. Highlights of the afternoon included spotting a chameleon a crab, weavers, sunbirds, and several dragonflies as well as other birds and insects.
Most felt that they vlei offered a good home for their species, but Grade 7 learner from Primrose Primary, Jodey McGrath was worried about the pollution. ‘Our bird might eat the plastic and die, and we don’t want that to happen’ he said.
We asked the learners to look out for other possible homes for their species. A week later most said they had not seen good places in their communities where theses species could live. This highlighted the importance of a wetland like Princess Vlei to provide a habitat for animals and plants.
On March 17, the learners gathered again to create mandalas, circular designs to show what each species needed to live. They used pastel crayons and coloured dyes to create bright and beautiful designs illustrating the food webs and ecosystems where these species can thrive
Bees, beetles, moths, butterflies… these were some of the busy pollinators that Harmony Grade 6 learners spotted at Princess Vlei on 24 February.
The learners were there to discover the wonders of pollinator activity at the vlei. They first examined Hibiscus flowers brought from a garden to investigate where the anatomy for the flower and discover how pollination leads to seed creation.
They were each assigned the identity of a pollinator, and asked to find flowers which that pollinator is drawn to. They were also asked to look out for any other pollinators on these and other plants.
The learners had a great morning, and discovered many other treasures at Princess Vlei, such as the bullrushes, birds and rattling seed pods of the kankerbos. The learners also discovered how frustrating it is as a pollinator not to find the flower you need for food or nectar, and why we need a rich diversity of plants to make sure that all our pollinator friends thrive, and can continue pollinating and promoting plant growth.
Posts by Bridget Pitt unless stated otherwise.