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The Greatest Show on EarthIndian Nations Council

Remove lids and labels from tuna cans. Make sure there are no sharp edges, then wash the cans thoroughly. Wire screen cuts easily with scissors. Cut a length of wire screen about 6 inches wide and long enough to go around the inside of the can, plus an inch. Ben the screen into a tube to fit the inside size of the cans. Fasten the screen in that shape by first stripping a few wire strands from the outside overlap edge and bending the exposed row of wire prongs inward. Then fit the prongs through the inside screen, bending the prongs over and shut. Fit the cans over each end of the screen tube to complete the bug proof CREATURE CAGE.

Wormy Experiment

Try this experiment to show your den how worms work.  Put four to five inches of rich soil in a large glass jar with about 6 earthworms. On top of the soil, put an inch of light sand. Sprinkle corn meal on the sand. Wrap black paper around the jar to shut out light. At your next den meeting, take off the paper and see what has happened.  The worms will have moved dark soil up into the sand the sand down into the soil.  You will see tunnels along the glass marking their travels. Explain that the worms tunnels bring oxygen and nitrogen to nurture life and that the tunnels help the soil hold water.

Web (Printing) Painting

Take a walk in the woods with a can of spray paint and a piece of white paper. Find a spider web. Webs are usually found between branches of bushes or between two growing things, such as weeds or garden flowers.

Hold the can of spray paint at arm's length away from the web. Spray quickly with a back and forth motion. Be sure the wind is blowing away from you when you spray paint so you won't breathe in any of it.  Cover the web with a thin coating of paint.  The paint will look like tiny beads on the fine strands.

Quickly place a piece of paper on the web.  It is better if you curve the paper first in the center of the web and straighten it out very carefully along the sides.

Let the web dry on the paper. Your finished print will contain some of the web.

Night Creatures

Your backyard is part of your environment. You share it with all sorts of busy little creatures. There are some you usually don't see because they're nocturnal. That means they're active at night. Here's how to have a look at them without staying up all night.

Things you will need include:

¥ A wide-mouthed glass jar

¥ A garden trowel

¥ A small, flat piece of wood

¥ A few small stones or small wooden blocks

1. You're going to set up a trap for night creatures. It won't hurt them; it will just hold onto them until you get a look at them.  You need to dig a hole in the ground for this. Ask permission before you dig.

2. Make a hole in the ground big enough to hold your jar. It should be deep enough that the mouth of the jar is level with the ground.

3. Cover the jar with a flat piece of wood. Use stones or blocks to hold it about half an inch above the jar. Your cover will keep the rain out. If rain got into your jar overnight, it could drown your captives.

4. Check the jar the next day. See what is there. Be sure to let the creature go!

Caterpillars And Butterflies

Look for cocoons attached to stems and leaves of grasses. Look for caterpillars inching along stems. They often do great damage to plants. Look for partly eaten leaves and flowers which are clues to caterpillars. This picture shows the life cycle of a butterfly.

Page XBugs, Bark, Birds, and Boys

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