Sunday, March 3, 2019

Floral studies I: Snapdragon Narrative by Utkrishta Mulmi Photography by Anita Bhattarai

Snapdragon: common name
Antirrhinum majus: scientific name Date of observation: 28 February 2019 Equipment: microscope, glass slide, scissors, snapdragon flowers, tray, tweezers Goal: To observe the physiology and anatomy of Antirrhinum majus flower. Participants: Kashi (2 years old), Neela (3 years old), Mahika (4 years old), Vidheha (5 years old), Amulya (6 years old), Bishes (6 years old), Aarambha (7 years old), Snigdha (7 years old), Suprit (8 years old), Shila (10 years old), Utkrishta (12 years old), Anita (13 years old), facilitated by Pallav with assistance from Utu and Anita Achievement: Studied the external physiology of the flower. Saw distinct changes in color and patterns of petals. Separated ovary, filament with intact anthers from the main body. Looked at the pollen sacs. Microscopic observation: petals (10x x 15x), pollen (10x x 45x), filaments (10x x 15x).

General knowledge: parts of the flower and their function

  1. Petal: to attract insects and other pollinators. In Snapdragons’ case petals have an upper lip and a lower lip that pollinators have to go through in which process they brush down or carry the pollen to the ovary area increasing the chances of fertilization
  2. Scent or stink: to attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, flies, etc.
  3. Nectar: to attract insects such as bees, butterflies, flies, etc.
  4. Anther: to hold pollen until they are ready to be taken to ovary or as food (bees make bread of pollen) by pollinators
  5. Filament: the long filament grows into the anther which holds pollen
  6. Pollen: serves as male component that fertilizes female component the ovules in ovaries
  7. Ovary: to produce ovules and to hold them until they are mature, then to hold the fertilized ovules so new seeds can form
  8. Style: to provide the ovaries with pollen
  9. Stigma: at the top of the style helps collect pollen
  10. Gibba: holds nectar
  11. Sepals: to provide protection to the floral basem lots of sepals around the base is called a calyx
  12. Staminodium: to provide protection to ovaries

Kashi enjoying Geranium. (snapdragons in the background) Everyone participating in the observation said they love snapdragon flowers. The flowers chosen were purple in color and grown in the little flower patch at school. We have 3 different colored snapdragons. Since the children themselves planted and watered them it was especially rewarding to choose, pick and study them. The flowers sprout in long stalk like stems and the flowers grow right from the stem. Snapdragon is the common name of the flower, its scientific name is Antirrhinum majus. Antirrhinum majus is a species of flowering plant belonging to the genus Antirrhinum. They are called snapdragons because if squeezed laterally they look like a dragon’s mouth opening.

These Antirrhinum majus flowers are very attractive with their many different colors that rise from the base and change in intensity. And it is very fun to hold the flowers and to make them “talk”. “Hello, I will eat your nose,” Utu said while opening a snapdragon’s “mouth” and all the small ones laughed! Physiology Snapdragons have a very distinctive structure. They technically only have one petal that is divided into the upper and lower lip. Inside a hollow created by the petals are the anthers on filaments and the style. At the base of the petal is the ovary, the staminodium, the nectar in the gibba, and the sepals holding the flower to the stem. Vidheha looking at pollen and anthers of a snapdragon Reproduction related anatomy
Snapdragons have both male and female parts: anthers as well as ovaries. Some plants only have male parts or female parts. The reproductive system of the snapdragon is interesting to study. The anthers stick out of the flower and hold the pollen while the ovary is at the bottom with the style coming out of the ovary to collect the pollen with the help of pollinators.
Simple reproductive process Snapdragons have pretty petals and nectar to attract pollinators like bees and wasps. Pollinators go inside the petals and to the gibba to get the nectar. Their body, wings and limbs shake the pollen from the anthers or carry them into the style from where pollen goes to the ovary and the ovule in the ovule gets fertilized.

Under the microscope is always amazing

Mahika looking at a microscopic view of snapdragons After getting the microscope out we carefully took apart a snapdragon’s upper and lower lip to get to the pollen and anthers. We put one anther with pollen on the glass slide and looked inside the eyepiece. After adjusting the focus, we saw yellow stalks on which were pearl like pollen on anthers.

We couldn’t see the pollen that had burst out of the anthers onto the petals so we tried to use a petal with lots of pollen on it. We had to change the objective lens and got different results. This time we saw bubbly, purple, curvy, lines. We saw whitish-purplish-yellowish bubbly lines also with fully grown filaments with pollen.

It was quite windy so we got out of the sun into the shadows. We saw more and more different microscopic views. We saw newly forming filaments, fully grown filaments with pollen, extreme close ups of pollen, bubbly petals. We learned about all the different parts of the flower and saw lots of different microscopic views that looked more like modern abstract art!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Making play dough

by Shila Shrestha

Today we are trying to make play dough. This is my first time though others have done it before. First we watched some videos on YouTube and Pallav sir taught us how to make play dough.


Then we went to the kitchen. We discussed what to do with each other. Anita didi brought all the things that we need together. Pallav sir put warm water into the bowl and he also put flour into the bowl.


We also talked about the words flour, dough, and knead.

We mixed the dough turn by turn. We added some flour and some salt and oil. Pallav sir cut four pieces and he gave each of our groups one piece each.


Anita didi was the lead for Sama’s Serpents and they got one piece of dough. Sanket dada was the lead of the Extreme Van Goghs and they got one piece of dough. I am the lead of Da Vinci Dynamites and I had one piece of dough. Today Utu dada was absent so he could not lead Devkota’s Eagles. We took the kids in his group into ours so there was no Devkota’s Eagles group today.


We had a choice of four food colors to use for the play dough: there were Red, Green, Yellow and Brown. We did an Inky, Minky Ponky game and Sama’s Serpents got green, Extreme Van Goghs got yellow, Devkota’s Eagles got brown (maybe they will get to make the brown play dough when Utu dada is back) and my group Da Vinci Dynamites had red color.


We make deep hole in the middle of the dough that was given to us and we put food color inside. Because we had four pieces of the dough, we left one white.


It was quite hard to make the color mix well. First it was just white and a colored spot and then it would not mix well.


After kneading and kneading, we had a great balance in color. Because we did not want the play dough to dry out, we put the dough in plastic bags and made them air tight.


I felt that making play dough for the first time was really nice. Pallav sir said, “Great work,” to us and Anita didi took very nice photos.

We tried out the play dough, it was very good play dough. We made a bridge and I also made a baby’s milk bottle. Anita didi made a pig that was very nice. We want to make many things with the play dough this winter holiday at Spiny Babbler Evolution.


Cleaning our school

21 December 2018, Friday
by Anita Bhattarai

Day before yesterday Sanket dada and I took a cleaning class for my friends, brothers and sisters. In our school I teach many things. After I taught them how to clean, we watched cleaning videos on YouTube.


Then we all started cleaning our school. We have cleaned our rooms, bathrooms, classrooms, and gardens many times before this. We regularly watch how to clean, how to cook, and how to live a good life.

We like our school to look clean and tidy so we always clean our school once a week, usually on Sunday. Af us know how to clean now, practice makes perfect. So this time everybody did very well. I took lots of picture. Chuntu is just three years old but she also cleaned classroom’s wall. She did very well.

Amulya and Aarambha cleaned our school’s signboard. They did it very gently. Other friends cleaned the doors, tables, whiteboards and other things. Last time we cleaned outside and we also took out lots of grass. 

Utkristha and Shila cleaned with a broom and Utu sprinkled water outside the gate while Amulya and I picked all plastic pieces. Palistha ma’am helped us.


This work is very easy to do for us and we feel good. In our school we have to learn this work and do it regularly rather than just on “environment day” or something like that because this is very important for our health and life.

We are learning lot of things from our lovely school Spiny Babbler Evolution. I love my school very much.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

साइकलमा काठमाडाै बाट सिन्धुलीगढी हुदै जनकपूर
अारम्भ ढकाल
A cycling trip with my mother and father to Sindhuli. 

गत हप्ता मेराे बाबा अामा सगै एउटा साइकल यात्रामा गएकाे थिए याे चार दिनकाे यात्रामा चाहि बसमा बसेर हेर्न बिचार गरेकाे थिए मेराे बाबा चाहि साइकलमा नै जाने तयारी गर्नु भएकाे थियाे

पहिलाे दिन यात्राकाे लागि हामी सवैजाना पशूपतिमा जम्मा भएम पशूपतीमा अरु साइकल यात्रीहरु जम्मा भैरहेका थिए याे यात्रकाे नामराइड टु सिन्धुलीगढी२०१८हाे   साइकलयात्रामा भन्दा बर्ष जेठाे  यात्री सुयोगमान बस्नेत बर्ष जेठाे  एक्सएल क्षेत्री पनि हुनुहुन्थ्याे जना दादाहरु देखेर धेरै खुशी भएकाे थिए

पशुपतीबाट साइकल यात्री अधिअधि हामी बसमा पछि पछि थिएम हामीलाइ भक्तपूर पातले गाउमा स्वागत भयाे त्यसपछिकाे बाटाे अाेरालै अाराेलाे थियाे मंगलटारमा हामीलाइ फेरी स्वागत भयाे मंगलटार पछि राेशी खाेलाकाे किनारै किनार हामी दुम्जा पूगेम दुम्जामा राेशी सुनकाेशी नदि मिसिन्छ यहा कुशेश्वर महादेवकाे मन्दिर पनि   हामीलाइ दुम्जामा टिका लगाएर स्वागत भयाे अनी खाना पनि त्यहि खाएम दुम्जाबाट मेन राेड छाेडेर गाउकाे बाटाे साइकल मुलकाेट पूग्याे हामी सडकै सडक गाडीमा मुलकाेट अाइपूगेम मुलकाेटमा नाचगान तथा स्वागत भयाे मुलकाेटमा फुड फेस्टिभल पनि भएकाे थियाे मैले दुइबटा ससेज खाए अनी खाना खाएर सुते

दाेस्राे दिन

बिहान उठेर खाजा खायम अनी साइकल यात्रीहरुले साइकल लाइन लगाएर राख्नु भयाे मुलकाेट पछीकाे बाटाे उकालाे धुमाउराे थियाे बाटाे छेउबाट सुनकाेशी बगिरहेकाे थियाे धेरै साइकल यात्री थाकेर साइकल बस माथि राखेर  बाटाे बाटै हाम्राे बसमा चढनु भयाे

तिन वटा उकालाे अनी अाेरालाे कटेर खुर्काेट अाइपूगेम खुर्काेटमा पनि हामीलाइ स्वागत भयाे त्यसपछि हामी अर्काे लामाे उकालाे लागेम याे उकालाे बाटाेमा पर्ने सवैभन्दा लामाे उकालाे हाे उकालाे कटेर खनियाखर्कमा हामीलाइ जुनारकाे जुस खुवाएर स्वागत भयाे खनियाखर्कमा सवै साइकल यात्रीहरुलाइ कुरेर हामी संगै गढी भित्र गएम

सिन्धुलीगढी २५१ बर्ष पहिले नेपालीले बेलाएति सेनासग लडाइ जितेकाे ठाउ रै गढीमा नेपालकाे  झन्डा भएकाे ठाउमा सवै जानेले फाेटाे खिचेम

गढी नजिकै रहेकाे पूरानाे दरवार अगाडी हामीले खाना खाएम गढीबाट सिन्धुली माढी सम्मकाे बाटाे अाेरालै अाेरालाे थियाे अाेरालाेमा देवेन्द्र अंकलले एक एक साइकल बिस्तारै जान भन्नु भयाे अाेरालाे मा बिस्तारै छेउछेउ बाट जान पनि भन्नु भयाे

अाेरालाे बाटाेकाे सकिय पछि चियाबारीमा हामी सवै जान जम्मा भएर एकै पटक बजारतिर लागेम

अनिहामी सिन्धुलीबजार पूग्दा बजारमा नाचगानले स्वागत भयाे हामीपनि सिन्धुलीगढी धुमेर हेर्दा भन्ने गितमा नाचेम राति खाना खाएर सुतेम

तेस्राे दिन

अाज साइकल यात्राकाे अन्तिम दिन हाे अाजकाे बाटाे थाेरै उकालाे थाेरै अाेरालाे धेरै सम्म सिन्धुलीबजारकाे बाटाे हुदै साइकलयात्रा बर्दिवास तिर अधि बढयाे बजारमा सवैले हाल हल्लायर साइकल यात्रीहरुलाइ बिदाइ गरे

हामी माइथान मन्दिर पूगेम मन्दिर बाटाे भन्दा पर थियाे हामी झुलुङगे पूल तरेर माइथान मन्दिर गएम हामीलाइ बाटाेमा ठाउठाउमा पानी दिन धेरै जानाबस्नु भएकाे थियाे हामी बर्दिवास पूगेर खाना खाएम

खाना खाएर सम्मबाटाे बिस्तारै एकै लाइनमा साइकलहरु अधि बढयाे ढलकेबर धारापानीहुदै धनुषाधाम मन्दिर पूगेम मन्दिरबाट धुलै धुलाे बाटाे हामी जनकपूर पूगेम जनकपूरमा माेनास्टिक स्कुलमा स्वागत तथा भाषण नाचगान भयाे सुयाेग दादा पनि स्टेजमा गएर नाचेम मलाइ सवैले बाेकेर नाचाए

बिहान उठेर हामी जानकीमन्दिर गएम मन्दिर छेउमा पूरी जेरी तरकारी खाएम स्कुलमा फर्किएर सवै जानाले अा अाफनाे साइकल प्याक गर्दै बस माथि राख्नु भयाे अनी बस चढेर हामी सबै काठमाडाै अाएम

याे सय ५० किलाेमिटर साइकल यात्रा याे पटकलाइ सकियाे मलाइ धेरै रमाइलाे लाग्याे मलाइ अर्काे पटक पनि अाउन मन लागेकाे

I liked my cycling trip even though I couldn't cycle with my friends and family, I had fun with my father and mother.