Today we have been given a couple of fantastic learning opportunities which just popped up! I realise the little people learn all the time, but today’s opportunities taught the whole family, and were a couple of great chances. The children were playing in the garden, I was on my never ending weed removal challenge from the gravel path, and Dadda was trying to bash an old cupboard to pieces in the garage (definitely not Ikea, as at some points the cupboard seemed to be winning, not Dadda). He suddenly shouted, there’s a big moth in here, so that we could all come and have a look. It was very still and the wings were closed together, however we did get a brief glimpse of them as it seemed to give a stretch, and they were beautiful, and definitely belonged to a butterfly! We were all taken aback a little, thinking this is most definitely not the time for butterflies, especially in a cold garage in the middle of a Swedish winter.
We carefully lifted it off the cupboard marked for demolition, and moved it onto a sledge for closer inspection. It was definitely alive but in shutdown mode. This is not something I thought butterflies did…hibernate! So, off we went indoors to research, and sure enough some butterflies do hibernate. Well, strictly scientifically speaking insects don’t hibernate, but stay “dormant”, but as most people think of hibernating as “sleeping through the winter” it is then often applied to moths and butterflies. We are sure this was a peacock butterfly. We didn’t want to waken it up too much to make it think spring had come early, so once we had had a good close look, we returned it back to the cool of the garage to return to its slumber. From my reading up about it, it seems to be quite a rare thing to see a dormant adult butterfly, so we’ve been very lucky 🙂
In the afternoon we went for a little family hike, that, as usual for our hikes, we diverted, and took a little longer, but for good reasons 🙂 We discovered a medium sized uninhabited island that came very close to the coast of ours. We decided to divert off the footpath to get a closer look. You can see from the photos that this would be totally accessible via the transport of paddling in warmer weather. We have earmarked this as an adventure for a warm sunny day, carrying everything we need for a day, and go over and enjoy exploring it.
We then carried on with our hike. Further along the shore line trying to relocate the path, I discovered an ilium (hip) bone. This has led to much research since…is it a swan’s? Is it another bird’s? Or what and how has it got there. We think it belongs to one of the island’s deer. Quite a young one too I think as it is quite small. You can see it compared to our little lady’s pine cone. Another good find for us all to learn from, especially as it involved a lot of research from us grown ups to finally hit on the right type of animal/bird and then a species 🙂