We're all just buzzing with excitement from a fascinating morning with the HOPE team from Oxford's Museum of Natural History. Grandparents and children from the Florence Park Inter Generation group met at Flo's pavilion and then naturEscape to learn about the complex and varied of world of flies -the Diptera order of insects.
Whilst the young ones enjoyed looking at museum specimens and pictures, the older members learned that Diptera is from the greek for 'two' and 'wings' (although flies actually have a second pair of wings which have evolved into stumpy appendages called 'halteres' acting as a sort of gyroscope for fly navigation and acrobatics).
We all learned how incredibly useful flies are, and how we rely on them for pollination of many plants and breaking down of organic matter that would otherwise create piles of waste.
Under the microscope children and adults alike could marvel at the beauty and delicacy of a fly's wing.
Down at the naturEscape park the children hunted for bugs of all types, finding millipedes and spiders, slugs eggs and beetles. All were photographed and recorded for the naturEscape log book, before being carefully returned to their original habitat. We will build a record of the species we observe in these and other sessions.
HOPE sessions will take place on the first Friday of every month, meeting 10.30am at the Pavilion by Flo's in Florence Park, and then onto naturEscape until 12 noon.
Come dressed for the weather and enjoy! Each session will focus on a different insect order
Coleoptera - Beetles
Lepidoptera - Butterflies and Moths
Hymenoptera - Bees, Ants and Wasps
Diptera - Flies
Hemiptera - True Bugs
HOPE is Heritage, Outreach and Preservation of Entomology