This week I spent some time in our wonderful Kids Grow Garden, which I can see from the library windows. A group of third graders was busy working as well as enjoying some of the fruits (okay, vegetables) of their labors. As some students were happily munching on newly harvested carrots, others were digging to create a new area for planting or trimming around the beds.
Big, beautiful sunflowers are in bloom, and we all got to visit with a painted lady butterfly that was on one of them. I was afraid of scaring her away, so I slowly inched closer and closer to take some pictures. We soon realized that she was much more focused on the feeding than on any of us. Soon the kids were leaning in and watching the butterfly use her long, slender proboscis to drink nectar from the flower!
There was also a tiny bee doing the same, and I pointed out the pollen that had gathered on the insect's hind legs. One of the girls added that they're called pollen baskets, and when I asked her where she learned that she replied, "I read it in a book". Hurray!
As soon as I got back to the library I put together a book display with a garden theme. Along with fiction books like Strega Nona's Harvest, Fluffy Plants a Garden, and The Gardener there are nonfiction books on topics like butterflies, bees, worms, sunflowers, and vegetables. In fact, just today I received a shipment of NEW books which included the how-to titles A Backyard Vegetable Garden for Kids and Organic Gardening for Kids.