Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Splashing Around the Catchment Project

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mt Whitestone State School - Insect Adventures

One morning at Mt Whitestone State School in the Lockyer Valley, one of the teachers said, "Alright students we're going to a bit more research on your insects."

The students said, "Ohhhhhhhhh!"

The teacher said, "No it's alright, you'll enjoy it. We're going to walk down to where our school has been planting all of those trees in the wildlife corridor."

 Map of the school by Olivia

One of the girls said, "Does that mean that we're going outside of the classroom."

The teacher said, "Yes, of course. Now I want you all to put your shoes on, get your hats and line up at the bottom of the stairs."

So that's what they did as fast as they could, but, when they lined up at the bottom of the stairs, the teacher said, "Oh, I forgot, can you go back up stairs and get your writing books and a pencil please."

The students ran up the stairs, along the corridor, into their classroom, grabbed their writing books and pencils and ran back along the corridor and down the stairs again. They said, "We've got them."

Heading down the ramp - Muireann

The teacher said, "That was quick. Right down to the corner of the school we go."

The students started to run but the teacher said, "Hold on, take your time, I want you to walk carefully down to the wildlife corridor and when you get there we are all going to sit down and see what insects we can find."

Heading down - Aerna

The students walked down across the oval with their teacher and when they got to the wildlife corridor fence, they all stopped to listen.

They could hear a buzzing sound. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. The teacher said, "Stop. Stop. Can you hear that sound?"


"What's making that sound?" as they watched a honey bee flew across in front of them heading towards a big gum tree. As they watched it flew up towards the top of the tree to the white eucalypt blossoms at the top of the tree.

One of the students said, "It's going to get some honey from the white flowers in the gum tree, Miss."

The teacher said, "I think you're right. Now who's going to draw the honey bee?"

Sally said, "I will Miss."
Sally drawing the bee - Catherine
The teacher said, "Good on you Sally.  You wait here and draw a picture of the bee up there in the gum tree blossom."

Sally sat down on the grass and started to draw a honey bee.

They walked a bit further and there was the row of trees in the wildlife corridor. Some of the trees were quite tall now but some were still small. As they walked across to the trees a bit of pink plastic tree protector blew across the ground.

The teacher said, "Oh, someone's been careless. We'd better pick that up and put it in the bin."

As a girl reached down to pick up the pink plastic tree protector she saw a stick. She said, "Will I throw this stick in the bin too?"

The teacher said, "Yes, OK."

But as she reached out to pick up the stick, the stick moved. She said, "Aaaaaaaah! It moved. It moved."

The teacher, "That was close. That's a stick insect. Let's have a look."

Teacher finds the Stick Insect - Tiarn

Very carefully she picked up the piece of pink plastic tree protector and held it up. A stick insect slid out and fell on the ground. The teacher said, "Now is that a male stick insect or a female insect?"

The children said, "We don't know."

One of them said, "Excuse me Mr. Stick Insect are you a man stick insect or a lady stick insect?"

As they watched, it just stayed there. The teacher said, "It's probably a female because it doesn't fly."

As they watched the stick insect crawl up the stem of a bush they heard, 'buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz'.

Sally came walking down towards them. The teacher said, "What are you doing Sally?"

Bee flying bye - Ilsa

"I'm trying to draw this honey bee as it flies." She walked towards them watching the honey bee. The teacher said, "Stop right there Sally."

Sally stopped with her foot suspended over a stick on the ground. She said, "What's wrong. That's just a stick."

The children said, "No it's not. It's a stick insect. It's a female one because it can't fly. Don't step on it Sally."

Sally said, "Oh, that's better than a honey bee."

As they watched, the honey bee flew past a little stick and, as it flew by the little green stick, the little stick took no notice of the honey bee. It was watching a meat ant. As the ant ran past on its six legs, two clawed legs zipped out from the stick, grabbed the meat ant and the stick began to eat it.

Sally said, "Oh, that stick is gross!"

'What's gross Sally?"

'That stick, miss. It's eating that meat ant."

The teacher looked and said, "No that's a Preying Mantis. They eat insects. Everyone come and have a look."

 Preying Mantis eating the ant - Xoe

As they gathered around, the mantis munched on the meat ant. When it finished eating, it turned into a little stick again.

The teacher said, "Well that's pretty cool. We've seen a honey bee, a stick insect, a preying mantis and a meat ant. Now everyone sit down here."

They all sat down, but do you know what, they made a big mistake. They sat on a green ants nest.

Green Ants - Jasmine

It wasn't long before they heard, "Ow! Ooooow! Ow! Ouch!"
Run - Caitlin

The teacher said, "Come on, come on back to the school." They went running back to the school. The teacher got some 'Stingos' out of the first aid kit and helped them put it on their ant stings.

After they settled down the teacher said, "Now what have you learnt today, students?"

One boy said, "Never sit on a green ants nest, miss!"

 Crow swoops down - Kiara

(This story was created by Daryll Belllingham and the lower school students of Mt Whitestone State School as part of the Catchy Lockyer Stories, Bush to Beach, Under 8's Week Tour.)

Here's a link to a recording of the story (podcast) Insect Adventures - Mt Whitestone

(No insects were hurt in the production of this story.)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Catchy Lockyer Stories Will Live On

Wow the 'Bush to Beach - Catchy Lockyer Stories' tours was really exciting. I went to places I've never been before. Met some really smart students and teachers and enjoyed making up some great new stories.

Will the stories be forgotten?

Well I won't forget them because I'm going to tell to students at other schools. I hope you will to. That way they will be enjoyed by more and more people.

Last Friday I told some of David and the Snake Necked Tortoise at a conference at the State Library of Queensland. The teachers and librarians really enjoyed hearing the conversation between David and his Grandpa.

Today I told it again at Redbank Plains State School. The prep students really enjoyed it.

I also told 'Mary and Jack Rescue the Mopoke' from Flagstone Creek School. Everywhere I tell stories lately I've also been pretending to drink 'creek' from my water bottle. It's good fun playing with the audience as they say 'That's not creek, that's water'.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Ropeley Primary - Possum Mystery

One Friday afternoon Bill said, "Hey I wonder what happens to the possums over the weekend?"

          by Nick           by Kahra  —>                                                     

His mate Harry said, "Oh, who cares about possums." 

Bill said, "Oh, all you think about is football. I'm going to come back on the weekend and see what happens to the possums."

"Naah. You can't come into the school over the weekend. You're not allowed to."

"Ohhh. I really wanted to see what happens to the brushies."

That Saturday afternoon, Bill rode his bike down the road and over Hogers Bridge across Deep Gully. "Gee, it's good to see clear water in the swimming hole again," he thought to himself.

He rode up the other side towards the school. He looked from the road but couldn't see any possums.

"They're probably cuddled up above the air conditioner. I bet they stay there all weekend. If I was a brushy that's what I'd do."

Just then he heard a sound. There was a crash and a smash and then 'Eeeeh uuuuuh, Eeeeh uuuuuh, Eeeeh uuuuuh.' Bill looked up and on the side of the school was a flashing blue light.

"Cool. The school must have installed a security alarm. There must be robbers in the school!"

"Someone's probably steeling a computer and the smart board and all the games. Oh no!"

Bill jumped back on his bike, rode down the hill and over Hogers Bridge. As he rode over the bridge he looked down to the swimming hole and saw someone jumping into the creek with a splash.

 'Bill riding across the bridge' by Ryan

'Oh wish I could stop for a swim as well but I've got to get home and get mum to ring the police.'

Up the hill he rode as fast as he could, along the Hogers Road, around the corner and into his place. He ran upstairs shouting, "Mum, mum, someone's broken into the school. The new security alarm is going off. You can hear it from here mum."

When his mum opened the window, sure enough, you could hear the alarm and see the flashing blue light through the gum trees lining the creek. His mum ran to the phone and rang the police.

Bill said, "Mum it's going to be fifteen minutes at least before the police get here. Can we drive down to the school?"

His mother said, "I think I'd better ring the school principal as well. Now where's her number. I'm sure I saw it on the P&C list here somewhere. She rifled through the draw and found the P&C newsletter and there was the after hours number. When the she rang it, the principal said, "Ohhh. I'm always getting called out to the school."

Bill's mother said, "Well we'll  go down there first. We've already called the police. If it looks like there's been a break in we'll ring you back."

They ran down the back stairs and around to the car. Bill's mother started it up and backed out of the driveway. She drove around the corner and down the hill over Hogers Bridge. Bill looked out the window to see if the person was still swimming but all he saw was a few ripples and a hat floating on the surface.

by Zach

Bill said, "Mum! I think someone's drowned in the creek!"

"What now! What do you mean someone's drowned in the creek?"

"When I was riding across the bridge before mum, I saw someone jumping into the water. I didn't stop because I wanted to tell you about the alarm but now, when I looked, there's just a hat floating on the surface."

"Ohhhh. What are we going to dooooo!" said his mum.

She put on the brakes and reversed back and stopped in the middle of the bridge. She said, "All right, where's this hat?"

Bill said, "It's over there? It was over there mum. They must've drowned, even the hat is gone."

"Oh, it's just your imagination Bill. Your imagination is just too active sometimes. I think you play too many internet games. It was probably one of those tortoises or something. Come on, we've got to get up to the school."

She drove up the hill, into the carpark, backed up to the fence and stood by the gate looking at the school. It was starting to get a bit dark so Bill's mother went to the car glovebox and got out a torch and shone it around the windows of the school

Bill said, "Hey mum look! There's somebody's head in that window. Look!" but, when Bill's mother shone the torch around to see, it had disappeared.

Just at that moment, they heard the sound of the police siren and it wasn't long before they heard it rattling over Hoger's bridge and screaming into the school parking lot. Two police officers jumped out and one of them has holding the leash of a police dog. As soon as the police dog jumped out it started barking really loudly.

 by Shaliah

The policeman said, "Quiet. Sit." The dog sat on the grass just outside the gate. The other police officer opened the gate and shone a torch all around. "I can't see anything, come on." and they took the dog up the stairs.

Possum running across roof by Hayley
At that point they heard the sounds of someone running across the roof of the school. The police officer shone the torch up at the roof and in the light they could all see two brush tailed possums bumping across the roof and on one of its back, holding on to its mother fur, was a baby possum.

by Lachlan

The officer said, "Oh, there's your problem. Did you call us all the way out here just for possums?" He walked up the stairs and looked in and, sure enough, there was a broken window next to the air conditioning unit. When he flashed his torch in he could see a trail of possum poop and a little bit of wee dribbling down the side.

 'Air conditioning unit on side of school' by Lachlan R.

"Oh, just a couple of silly possums. We'll we better be getting back to Gatton. Can you ring the principal and let her know?" The two officers and the dog jumped back in the police car and it drove down the hill but as they drove across Hogers Bridge one of them looked down into the Gully pool. "Hey there's something floating down there. Better pull up. We'd better have look."

by Braydon

When they climbed down they could see a backpack floating in the water. They sent the police dog in after it. The dog swam back with the straps of the back pack in it's teeth. When they unzipped the backpack do you know what they found? - one of the school's laptops.

They called out the SES and they dragged the waterhole but they didn't find anyone. And do you know, they never worked out who stole the laptop but the next Monday, when Bill went to give the possums something to eat, he found a wet hat. When he managed to dig it out from under the brushies, he found his mates name on the head band of the hat.

 Harry jumping into the water by Tristan

I've always wondered what Bill did with that hat.

(This story was created by the students of Ropeley Primary School and Daryll Bellingham 
as part of the Catchy Lockyer Stories, Bush to Beach Under 8's Week Tour. 
Big thank you to all of the students and teachers for their energy and creativity.)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Flagstone Primary School Story - Sally and Harry Save a Mopoke

It was twilight at Flagstone Creek. The shadows were starting to darken and a light breeze was blowing through the Bottle Brush Trees in the bed of the creek.

Some fruit bats had flown over and had landed in the Bottle Brushes and were munching on the flowers.

'Bleaeaeaeah, bleaeaeaeah, bleaeaeaeah!'

A platypus splashed into the water, swam one last circle on the surface and dived down into the water of Flagstone Creek.

The boy and the girl could see the trail of bubbles it left as it swam towards the entrance of its burrow.

The girl said, "Oh, look at that we'd better get a photo."

The boy said,"OK." and he reached into his pocket to get his mum's camera but it wasn't there.

The girl said, "Oh, no! You idiot!"

"You've lost Mum's camera. You wait till I tell her. Ha Ha!"

The boy said, "No it wasn't me. I put it in my pocket."

"Well we'd better find it," said the girl, "because if we don't Mum might cry and I don't like seeing Mum cry."

So they walked back along the path. The boy said, "There it is!" But as he bent over to pick it up it scuttled across the path and went plop into the creek. He said, "Naa, that's a turtle."

They walked a bit further and this time the girl saw a frog on the edge of the creek. It started croaking and soon there were many croaks echoing around the banks.

The boy said, "Wow, there are lots of frogs here but we still haven't found Mums camera. Wait a minute, look there's something glowing over there."

They both ran along the path in the dark and, sure enough, it was Mum's camera. The boy said, "I'll get it!" and he ran over and picked up the camera. He said, "Hooray!"

The bats flew off startled by the sudden noise. They could hear their wings wooshing through the evening air and wind blew through the bottle brushes again.

"Hey listen." As the wind died down again they could hear, "Mopoke, mopoke, mopoke."

"What's that?"

"Dad calls them a mopoke but I think they're really a Tawny Frogmouth."

"Is that an owl?" said the boy.

"Well they look a bit like owls but they don't have talons to catch their prey so they're not."

"I know what they like to eat - bacon."


"That's what he's saying. Listen. More pork, more pork, more pork."

The girl said, "No. It's mopoke, mopoke."

"Let's see if we can find it."

The girl said, "Naaah, I think it's time we were heading home. Mum will be wondering where we are."

So they hopped under the fence, walked along the path, and opened and closed the gate.

The girl said, "Give you a race back to the house."

The boy said, "You're on."

They ran as fast as they could up the driveway to the house. The girl got their first. "Hey, I won!" but when she looked around the boy wasn't there. She said, "Harry!" but there was no answer.

Her Mum said, "Oh what's Harry done now."

"He's disappeared. I bet he's gone looking for that mopoke."

Her mother said, "You're probably right and I bet he's got my camera too."

"Yes Mum."

As they looked there was a flash of light and in the light they could see Harry standing at the foot of a stringybark tree and in the branches of a tree they could see a Tawny Frogmouth pretending to be a branch.

"Will I go and get him mum?"

"No Sally. We'll walk down together."

Sally's mum picked up the torch and together they walked down the driveway towards the stringybark tree. As they arrived a gust of wind rattled the branches of the tree and an old rotten branch came crashing down onto the lower branches. The mopoke fell to the ground right next to Harry.

"Mum, it's hurt look but it's moving."

"Be careful. It might have a broken wing." She shone the torch on the bird and, sure enough, they could see that one of its wings was at a funny angle.

Sally said, "Mum, mum, can we look after it."

"Oooh, I'm not sure if we can manage that. We'd better put in in a box and keep it calm while I ring the wildlife carer who lives down near Fordsdale."

Harry scooted back along the driveway and into the garage. He came back with a box. They wrapped the Tawny Frogmouth carefully up in Harry's jumper and carried it carefully in the box back to the house.

There mother got on the phone and rang a friend of her's. "Do you know you were telling me about those wildlife carers. Do you know where we can find them? We've got an injured Tawny Frogmouth."

"Oh, oh, there's one at Fordsdale. I'm not sure if I can remember her name. Oh, oh, Alison's her first name. I'm not sure if I can remember her surname. Oh, I must be getting older. What is it? Harrison, Alison Harrison. That's it."

Her mother looked up the name in the phone book and gave the number a ring and said, "Oh, the wind knocked a branch down and we've got an injured mopoke, a Tawny Frogmouth, can you look after it?"

The carer said, "Oh yes that happens but, look, can you look after it for the weekend? I'll tell you what to do."

So they looked after that mopoke all weekend and on Monday morning before school they drove it down to the wildlife carer near Fordsdale. One Sunday, a few weeks later, they were down by the pool at the creek trying to see the platypus and do you know what they heard? - 'mopoke, mopoke, mopoke'.

 cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo by Peter Nijenhuis:

(This story was created by the Prep - Yr 2 students at Flagstone Primary School and Daryll Bellingham
as part of the Catchy Lockyer Stories Bush to Beach Under 8's Week Tour.)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Barking Worms

One night, on a farm near Flagstone Creek, the branches of a tall gum tree stirred.

Down on the ground a silly chicken was still awake, scratching in the ground for one last worm and going 'Broaak, broaak, broaak.'

 cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo by ~Squil~:

Connor looked up at the tree and back down at the chicken and said, "Go to sleep you silly chicken. There are owls around. I can hear one barking."

 At that moment, on silent wings, a Barking Owl flew down. The chicken ran squawking into its coop to roost.

The rooster came out and said, "Cock-a-doodle-doo, you silly chicken. Don't you know it's a Barking Owl?"

The Barking Owl said, "Woof, woof. Do you know where there are any grubs around here?"

The chicken said, "Broaak, broaak. I think I saw some worms over there."

So the Owl grabbed some worms in its talons and flew back to its perch in the tree. "Woof, woof. Thank you silly chicken."

The rooster and the chicken perched on their perches as far inside the chicken roost as they could and thanked their lucky feathers that the Barking Owl liked eating the worms.

Connor watched the Barking Owl until it was too dark to see it in amongst the gum tree leaves.

(This story was created by Connor, and Daryll Bellingham
at the Creating Wildlife Adventures in the Fordsdale Hall on Saturday the 28th May, 2010.)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Wobbling Wombat

One afternoon near Scanlon's Road, a wombat was wobbling towards a fence.

It was saying, "Bloouuaahh, I smell food, I'm hungry."

When it got to the fence, it pushed through the wombat flap hole. On the other side, it began to eat some apples which had been left for the horse.

The horse was very upset. It stamped its front hoof and snorted at the wombat but the wombat took no notice.

Fortunately Lilabelle noticed and told her mum and dad, "A wombat is eating Tommydod's food!"

Her dad said, "Well fancy that. We'll have to help him back over his side of the fence."

They took him back to the wombat flap and he waddled through heading for his burrow beside the trees and rock.

"Bye Wombat. Don't eat Tommydod's food next time." said Lilabelle.

 (Tasmanian wombat sleeping a log. cc licensed
( BY NC SD ) flickr photo by RaeA:

(This story was created by Lilabelle and Daryll Bellingham at the Creating Wildlife Adventures Saturday at the Fordsdale Hall., Saturday 28th of May, 2011. Well done Lilabelle.)