Notes From Junior Naturalists Event On Oct 19th

Thanks to everyone who joined us for an exciting adventure exploring Garden seeds, tree seeds and dissecting acorns! Thanks to Monica and Vanessa for your leadership and input!!

We played charades (wow, you guys were good!) to remind ourselves how seeds are dispersed. The Red Oak is Toronto’s unofficial ‘tree’. This is a year of very abundant acorn production. What are acorns and how are they made? We dramatized the life of a Red Oak tree –how it makes male and female flowers and uses wind to get the female flowers pollinated. During the dissection we saw the tiny baby Oak tree inside the acorn, and also some freeloaders–the acorn weevil and the acorn moth larva. We found many of these remarkable creatures. We saw another moth larva, that we couldn’t identify. One particularly spellbinding sight, was the weevil larva trying to squeeze through the hole it had made to escape the acorn and continue its life in the soil. It reminded us of Winnie-the-Pooh, stuck in the entrance way of Rabbit’s house!!

We learned which acorns to open–if it floats its got lodgers, if it sinks it is in good shape and will germinate next year. The 3-D microscopes added to the fun–every species of plant makes a completely unique seed and we got to see them!

More to learn:

The Toronto Field Naturalists wish to acknowledge this land through which we walk. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississauga of the Credit River. Today it is still the home to many Indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to be on this land.