Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Learning About the Local Ecosystem

Daughter's final Home Life project for this year is called "Backyard Ecosystem"  She has learned a lot about the plants, animals, soil and resources right here at Ten Things Farm.  We though you might enjoy her report:

Where we live, it is mostly prairie.  There is a lot of grass, and almost no trees.  All of the trees have been planted by people.  There are different kinds of grass that grow.  We have spear grass, panic grass, buffalo grass and more, but at this time of year, most of it is just dry and brown.  In the summer, you can see the different grasses and their features.

There are other plants that grow here too.  In the picture above, the dry branch on the lower left is from Russian Thistle.  That is one of the plants that makes tumbleweeds.

This is a Sand Lily, and the small brown pellets are poop from cottontail rabbits.  We have a lot of rabbits here.

This is a deer track (and my shoe).  We have some deer here, but this is not the best habitat for them, because it is mostly grass.  That is why they eat a lot of our trees, our roses, and our garden.  My mom gets annoyed with the deer.  I like the deer a lot.

This is how our ecosystem works.  The sun shines to grow the grasses and plants.  The rain helps them grow too.  Then, the deer, rabbits and mice eat the grass.  Owls and hawks will eat the rabbits and mice.  Coyotes will eat the deer.  If there are any animals that die, bugs eat them too, and then other birds eat some of those bugs.  I drew this in a big food web, and mailed it in the envelope. 

We have a covey of doves that live here.  We enjoy listening to them and watching them.

When I started learning about our ecosystem, I decided to read a book called Tom Brown's Field Guide to Wilderness Survival.  (Note from mom...yes, she really did read this book!)  I learned what to do if I get stuck in the woods - how to make a shelter, how to find food and how to find water sources.  One of the things I read about was pine tea.  We have pine trees, so I made some pine tea at home.

Pine tea is good because it has lots of vitamin C.  You have to gather some clean, green pine needles.  Break them into pieces and put them in hot water for five minutes.  Then, strain the water and you can drink it.

It tastes like pine needles.  Honey makes it taste better.  I think I will drink it again some time. 


It was fun to learn about my backyard ecosystem.  I love nature, and I enjoyed learning about the plants and animals that live here.

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