Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children
Post Number 68
The Cornfield Study
Sometimes l visit Farmer Jenkins to buy some fresh eggs or milk.
Farmer Jenkins keeps a lot of animals on his farm, but he also grows some crops as well.
One of the things he grows is corn.
Around his corn field he has left a strip between the corn and the hedge where wild flowers can be left to grow. This is called a field margin.
A lot of wildlife can thrive in this little piece of land, like birds and hedgehogs. There are lots of flowers that feed the bees, and the bees pollinate a lot of what Farmer Jenkins grows.
An important thing about field margins is that they help to create what is called a wildlife corridor. This means that some creatures that can’t travel very far without food can move about the countryside along these corridors. They are not trapped in what are called wildlife islands.
Just recently, Miss Pringle, Bill and Bob’s class teacher, took her class up to see the field for a field study.
The corn is green at the moment, but it will grow taller and turn golden-yellow. When it is ripe Farmer Jenkins will cut it and store it. This is called harvesting.
The children wanted to count how many different species of wildlife they could see in the cornfield.
They all took clipboards with them so that they could have something to rest on when they were making notes, and also to make them look like important scientists.
So what do you think they saw?
Well, they saw lots of butterflies and bees and hoverflies.
They saw crows and magpies and some hedge sparrows, lots of beetles and some field mice.
Then they were really lucky and saw some wild pheasants in the grass, but then the pheasants disappeared into the hedge. The male was brightly coloured with a red face and the female was a creamy colour with speckles. They had a really strange cry that seemed to echo around the field.
Then they saw a roe deer, but it was very shy and ran away.
Miss Pringle said that if they came up to the field in the night time, then they might see different wildlife altogether, like bats and owls.
So when Bill and Bob came home they wanted to grow a wild flower meadow in their back garden. Their dad said that their garden was too small for that but they could grow some bee-friendly flowers in the flower beds instead.
Auntie Alice has an enormous garden with an orchard at the back. ln the rough grass of the orchard there are lots of different wild flowers growing, so Bill and Bob decided to collect wild flower seed from there and spread it around on grass verges beside roads.
Anyone can plant wild flowers in their garden.
Bye bye everyone – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!
Love and kisses
Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Week
Bob: What do you get if you sit under a cow?
Bill: l don’t know. What do you get if you sit under a cow?
Bob: A pat on the head!
Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2008
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.
Links may be used to www.christina-sinclair.com
A hedge sparrow is also called a dunnock
They sing beautifully
Hedgerows can be home to lots of different wildlife
Elder flowers in early summer
Hedgerows can provide food through the winter (red berries)
Tall grass can shelter wildlife too
Flowers like bird’s foot trefoil can grow in the grass
Never pick ragwort – it is good for insects but very bad for your skin
Flowers like periwinkle can spread by creeping along the base of a fence or hedge
Speckled wood butterfly
A male and female pheasant
THE SALTY SAM NEWS DESK
After Bill and Bob had done their field survey, they went back to the farmyard to look at the animals that Farmer Jenkins has on his farm. The farm animals weren’t as shy as the roe deer.
They made a list of all the ones they saw and then Miss Pringle took the children back to the classroom to learn more about the animals they had just seen.
She taught them the words to describe all the members of the animal families.
Do you know what they are?
TO ADVERTISE ON THIS BLOG
This is a recipe for peppermint creams. They can be made to look like little flowers if you have a flower shaped cutter, but if you haven’t you can make them in little round shapes instead.
225g/8oz ready-to-roll fondant icing
Few drops of peppermint essence and rose essence
Few drops food colouring (green and pink)
- Divide the icing into two so that you can have green peppermint-flavoured sweets and pink rose-flavoured sweets
- Knead the essence and colouring into the icing
- Roll out on a surface dusted with icing sugar
- When it is about ½cm/¼ inch thick, cut out shapes with a biscuit cutter – flower shapes look good especially if you can press a pearlised sugar ball into each centre
- Leave sweets to harden overnight
These sweets make nice presents if you can gift wrap them in a little gift bag, basket or box. (See Blog Post 15.)
BLOW MY FOGHORN!!!
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lt’s the Weekend!
HOW TO MAKE A SCARECROW DECORATlON
The base of this scarecrow is yellow double knitting yarn which makes him more cuddly-looking than if he was made of straw.
The clothes can be made of any left over fabric you have available – he won’t want many; scarecrows are not really known for their fashion sense.
This is not very suitable as a toy because he is a bit delicate.
Also, the design has a lot of components so may not be suitable for a sewing newbie.
But he would look lovely sitting on a harvest festival or Halloween table.
You will need:
Some yellow dk yarn
A wooden clothes-peg
A long pink pipe cleaner
Some fabric for the shirt
Scraps of felt to make the trousers, hat and face
Felt/ribbons/buttons/bells/yarn of your choice to decorate
Cut a circle of white felt 3½cm/1¼inches in diameter and embroider on a face – the eyes are French knots made with the thread wrapped around the needle 3 times and the nose 7 times.
The hat is constructed from a rectangle of black felt 8cm/3 inches by 3cm/1 inch and a 3½cm/1¼ inch circle of black felt and a 2cm/¾ inch diameter circle of black felt.
Sew the sides to the top and sew down the side – there will be an overlap
Cut 8 times out from the centre of the bigger circle just short of the width of the crown of the hat and sew the brim into place.
Sew on a ribbon and flower made from felt or a flower shaped button to decorate.
Sew the top of the face to the inside of the hat.
Wind some yellow dk yarn around the width of a packet of playing cards 30 times and tie up at the top – remove from the packet and push this top into the hat.
Put the hat onto a wooden clothes peg and cut the bottom loops.
Twist a 30cm/12 inch pipe cleaner around and inside the peg – fold over the ends to make hands.
Cut a piece of card 6½cm/2½ inches wide.
Wind the yellow yarn around it 20 times.
Tie together with thread at the top and tie this thread to the top of an arm and tie some thread around the wrists.
Do the same for the other arm.
Cut a rectangle of paper 14cm/5½ inches across and 8cm/3 inches wide.
Take off a 3cm/1 inch square from each bottom corner to make a ‘T’ shape.
Cut this shape in two pieces of fabric to make the shirt.
Sew across the shoulders 5cm and leave a 4cm/1½ inch gap in the middle.
Hem the sleeves.
Sew underarm and side seams.
Hem the bottom.
Clip into underarms.
Press neck edge down with your fingers.
Turn right side out.
Put the shirt on the scarecrow.
Cut the loops at the end of the arms and tie some narrow pieces of ribbon around the shirt wrists to decorate.
The trousers are made out of 2 pieces of blue felt 8cm/3 inches in length and 9cm/3 ½ inches in width.
Sew a knee patch onto one leg.
Sew into tubes 8cm long with a 1cm/1/3 inch overlap.
Squash the tubes together with the seams forming two inside legs and catch stitch just at the front and back corners.
Wind 20 strands of yellow yarn around the card you used for the arms
Tie up in the middle on both sides of the card.
Slip off the card.
Pull the yarn up into the trouser legs and sew the thread to the inside seams of the trousers.
The trousers should pull up onto the peg.
Tie on a neckerchief and belt – you can add bells if you want to to jangle in the wind.
The neckerchief is 20-22cm/8 inches of narrow ribbon tied around the neck and sewn to the bottom of the face.
The belt is yarn with bobbles or bells tied to the end.
Catch stitch the bottom of the smock to the trousers just at the sides to help keep the scarecrow together.
If your scarecrow comes out a bit wonky, don’t worry – that is just the way scarecrows are.
Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.
It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.
Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.
©Christina Sinclair Designs 2008
The Answers to the News Desk Quiz
ANIMAL MALE FEMALE BABY
horse stallion mare foal
donkey (plural = donkeys) jack jenny foal
cow bull cow calf
pig boar sow piglet
sheep (plural = sheep) ram ewe lamb
goat billy nanny kid
chicken cockerel hen chick
goose (plural = geese) gander goose gosling
duck drake duck/hen duckling
dog dog bitch puppy (plural = puppies)
cat tom queen kitten
A baby donkey is called a foal