mystery The answer to the clues may be found at the bottom of this column.    Teachers and Parents: Enter to win an entire set of Dawn’s nature books of one title for your home or classroom. It's fun and easy!
Just read the clues below. They describe an aspect of nature—a plant, animal, mineral, habitat, or natural process.
When you're ready to make your guess about who or what I am, click ENTER NOW.
Who Am I?
spacerglass1 Clue 1:  I'm a member of the "dog family."
glass1 Clue 2:  I live throughout North America in deserts, prairies, forests, and even in towns and cities.
glass1 Clue 3:  You might hear me howling at night to communicate with my pack.
glass1 Clue 4:  Don't let me trick you—I am NOT a wolf.
Do you think you know who I am? ENTER NOW.
Entries should be submitted no later than noon on Friday.
If you guessed correctly, you’re automatically entered into the monthly drawing for a set of nature books from Dawn Publications.
A contest winner will be announced at the end of September.
Throughout the school year, clues for a new Who Am I are posted no later than Sunday night, so you can use them with your class on Monday morning.Good luck!
The answer to last week's mystery was: SEASHELLS Although Inside Outside Nature blog is changing it's focus, this weekly "Who Am I?" will remain the same! Teachers, click here to get ideas about how to use the contest with your students.  

Fluttering By

Pollinators are nearly as important as sunlight, soil, and water to over 75% of the world’s flowering plants.

Monarch_Tithonia2_BudHensleyAlthough bees are the best-known pollinators (see last week’s blog), other insects also contribute to pollination—especially butterflies. Master Gardener, Candace Hawkinson states, “Though butterflies may not be as efficient as bees in pollinating plants and crops, butterflies certainly do their fair share in bringing about seed and fruit production—and definitely are more pleasing to watch.”

Many native plants are exclusively pollinated by butterflies rather than bees. And unlike bees, which are generally restricted to a local area, many butterflies migrate over a wide area, cross-pollinating as they go. This improves the genetic mix in the plant community.


Inside: On One Flower

FLOWR_COVERA single flower hosts butterflies and a whole lot more. In On One Flower: Butterflies, Ticks, and Few More Icks by Anthony Fredericks, children not only learn about a butterfly, but about an entire “community” of plant and animal life that live on a single flower.

Use this Picture Perfect activity (pdf) to help students make observations, ask questions, and discover facts as they create their own stories.


Outside: Plant a Butterfly Garden

butterfly-garden-aIf there was a beauty contest for insects, butterflies would win by a landslide! Plant a garden to attract these beauties of the insect world using common flower varieties, such as asters, daisies, butterfly bush, butterfly weed, lantana, marigolds, purple coneflowers, and zinnias.

For more information about butterflies and how to use native plants in your garden, go to NASA’s Climate Kids website.


More Facts and Fun with Butterflies

BUG_SHOP-1(1) Noisy Bug Sing-a-long by John Himmelman celebrates a joyful chorus of bug noises. Listen to some of the sounds at the Dawn Publications website. The Clouded Sulpher Butterfly offers a contrast to the many other bugs. Its page reads, “A Butterfly flutters by in complete silence.”

(2) Have your students connect with classrooms in Mexico and across the U.S. as they become “citizen scientists.” They can track the Monarch butterfly migration each fall and spring with Journey North.

(3)Kids are entranced as they watch a butterfly emerge from a chrysalis as a mature butterfly. You can order a butterfly kit to get a first-hand experience of this transformation from many online sources, such as the Nature Gifts Store.