I have done quite a few talks on birds to birdgroups over the years but yesterday was the first time I have ever given a talk to children. It was my youngest son's cylch/playgroup, in other-words a bunch of 3 - 4 year olds. I have always thought about teaching. Would I go for primary or secondary? I always thought secondary would be hard work and primary a doddle. After yesterday I realised it is a totally different ball-game! You start talking, then there's a question, and another, and another, then a totally random question! I tried to answer them all. I show them something, they all run forward. You ease them back to their seats, they run forward again! Some are keen. Some are not. You try to spread yourself out evenly, and not over-hog the keen ones. Let me just say in a 50 minute presentation, which I think went well, it was totally full-on. I have changed my mind on primary school education. It is hard work and I totally take my hat off to the teachers. It was very rewarding though as you get to show these little guys stuff they have never seen before and it was great to see the looks of amazement when you open a moth-trap full of moths, with Elephant, Eyed and Polplar Hawk Moths, Ghosts, Brimstones, Spectacles, Pebble Prominents, the dead twig-like Buff-tip, the luminescent metalic Burnished Brass and Grey Dagger with it's highwayman's mask. There was lots of laughing, excitement and the Wow factor! It was a great experience and hopefully it may have sown a few seeds with the little-uns!
Here's a few shots of my son Sion as we released the catch at Roger's place (many thanks). He loves moths, but as you will see he's not too happy when they start creeping up towards his neck! There must be an equation regarding the relationship between your child's contentment with a large moth on his/her chest and the anxiety caused by the closer the moth gets to their neck? I'm sure there's a Masters project for someone there somewhere?