Bugs at the Rose Garden

Rose Haven Heritage Garden

We found a lovely new place to go and enjoy nature. Oddly, it’s in our own town and we had no idea it existed…shame on us! Rose Haven Heritage Garden is a public garden and home to over 1600 roses of varying kinds. They are interspersed among other flowering plants, succulents and even a small vegetable garden.  It is all maintained by volunteers of the local rose society. 

We attended the March program which focused on garden bugs. The kids got to hear a short talk on beneficial versus pest insects that can be found in the garden or yard. There was also a table of various insects to examine and a knowledgeable volunteer to give the kids info on what they were looking at. My daughter’s favorite was the compost worms box. The children were invited to dig around and search for worms and grubs.

Rose Haven Heritage Garden

They also received a checklist of nine different bugs and had the opportunity to walk the garden and try and spot as many as they could. The kids were encouraged to pick up any nature bits lying around the grounds to use in a following art project.

Rose Haven Heritage Garden

Rose Haven Heritage Garden

Our kids were having too much fun exploring so we didn’t make it to the sit-down-and-craft part of the program. However, we took home our nature finds and J had a great time creating a ladybug picture on her own. 

Rose Haven Heritage Garden

Many thanks to the sweet and patient volunteers for hosting this event. We are looking forward to our next visit…maybe bring a picnic lunch and our nature journal. 🙂

 

A Day With Pirates!

My daughter LOVES pirates…truth be told so do I! We especially love the world of Peter Pan, Captain Hook, fairies, mermaids and all the magic that goes along with it. We of course watch lots of Jake and the Neverland Pirates  too. Yes, we love pirates. It was therefore a necessity that we attend Pirate Days at the San Diego Maritime Museum. The collections of the Maritime Museum are vast and engaging. One of our favorites, among the many incredible ships there, is the Star of India. Built in 1863, it is the world’s oldest active sailing ship. It is a beautiful vessel inside and out. Many volunteers were hard at work cleaning and maintaining her in the midst of festivities and tourists. I was surprised that my three year old daughter stopped to take a look at almost every display. She was fascinated with everything on the ship…from stem to stern, so to speak. San Diego Maritime Museum Pirate Days There were also plenty of pirates on board that were ready to engage in sword fights and playful banter. My daughter, J, wore her finest and was ready to join the crew! She was picked unanimously as the winner of the girls costume contest. I think she charmed just about everyone on board! 🙂 San Diego Maritime Museum Pirate Days One of the activities was a scavenger hunt that had you follow clues through several ships. Your prize for all of the effort was a visit to the magical mermaid grotto set up on the Star of  India. This was very enchanting for J! San Diego Maritime Museum Pirate Days The mermaids handed out jewels and a coveted key necklace to her. San Diego Maritime Museum Pirate Days It was perfect, for she was sure it opened a treasure chest somewhere on board. This necklace is so special we have since redesigned a new and stronger chain of beads for it. It gets worn regularly! San Diego Maritime Museum Pirate Days Besides exciting encounters with the buccaneers, there were also other re-enactors aboard the ship HMS SurpriseAn admiral made his rounds and hosted a “dance” with ladies and gentlemen in period dress.  San Diego Maritime Museum Pirate Days   San Diego Maritime Museum Pirate Days The San Diego Maritime Museum is a wonderful opportunity to experience hands on history. There are many educational opportunities for the family. They have many exciting events to attend throughout the year. It is a great day trip and makes for a fun homeschool field trip as well. San Diego Maritime Museum Pirate Days

Safari Park – Butterfly Jungle 3-17-13

Imagine walking among lush plants and beautiful flowers, while butterflies of every size and color dance their way around you…a few even lilt gracefully on your hand, arms or head. This is what it’s like to walk through San Diego Safari Park’s Butterfly Jungle exhibit. It is held in the Hidden Jungle area, usually a very quiet little enclosure, exhibiting rare plants, birds and insects. It becomes a bustling hub from March 16th to April 7th, while the butterflies make it their home. Although it can be quite crowded, the experience of seeing the butterflies up close is not lost. There wasn’t one person in our family who did not have a butterfly land on them, multiple times! Also, they are perched everywhere on leaves around you, so photo opportunities abound.

What We Saw

The Orange Julia has got to be my favorite! It is such a gorgeous shade or orange and I adore the name! I had only one butterfly land on me while we were there, and it was this one! I consider that special!

Orange Julia

Orange Julia

The Paper Kite is a delicate black and yellow butterfly, that looked stunning among all of the brightly colored flowers!

Paper Kite

Paper Kite

The Common Blue Morpho is one of the most uncommonly beautiful butterflies. It is quite unassuming, with it’s brown and gold spotted wings…until it opens them!  

Common Blue Morpho

Common Blue Morpho

The inside of it’s wings are a striking iridescent blue, that is dazzling to look upon! It is also quite a large butterfly, and when it lands on you, you can’t help but be mesmerized by it’s loveliness.

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Common Blue Morpho

The Postman is a small red, black and yellow butterfly that we observed in abundance!

Postman

Postman

The Zebra Longwing is a small pale yellow and black striped butterfly, as it’s name implies. They had one of the most delicate flutters of all!

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Zebra Longwing

And then there’s this guy.

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I still can’t identify him properly. It’s hard to tell in the photo, but this butterfly is huge. It had landed on one of the employees pant leg and he said it had been there for around a couple of hours! I know he said the name of this butterfly, but I can not remember what it was, and I can’t find it in my guide. It is quite beautiful with it’s muted iridescence! I’m sure I’ll find out the proper name for this one, and I’ll be sure to update my information here.

Our trip to Butterfly Jungle was a lot of fun and enjoyable for the whole family. I would highly recommend taking advantage of this fabulous exhibit if you are in the area!