Have you seen many rainbows round your street? Lots of children last week were encouraged to draw rainbows to be displayed on windows. These could then be spotted by everyone that went out for a walk as their daily exercise.
What a lovely idea. Do get involved if you can. Perhaps your children could draw an extra one and send it to older relatives who are unable to leave their house.
You only get a beautiful rainbow, where there is rain. In the same way, maybe something bright and beautiful will come out of the Coronavirus crisis. Through the difficulties of isolation, shortages and money worries, we may find connection with our neighbours – hear stories of kindness and compassion, and a realisation that it is good to slow down, and enjoy the little things in life that we take for granted. Perhaps we will learn more about the wildlife around us, or start growing some of our own food, or learning something new.
On the bright side our environment too is benefiting too as our carbon footprint falls dramatically, in a way we could not have predicted a few months ago!
Here is our rainbow quiz to learn more about things you may find in your garden or park, enjoy.. (Thanks to Mollie for the lovely rainbow!)
Q: What red is a bird that is in our garden all year round (not just at Christmas!)
A: Robin redbreasts are ground feeders, and will be delighted to pick over the soil looking for worms and insects after you have been digging! They are fiercely territorial, so if you have two in your garden, and they are not fighting, the chances are they are a nesting pair! Robins like an open fronted nest box rather than a box with a hole, and often nest in the most odd places (including teapots, boots and in traffic lights)
Q: What orange, loves a bit of garlic mustard?
A: Orange tip butterflies are quite common, but in my experience very difficult to photograph as they don’t seem to stay still for a second! Only the males have the orange tip, the females could be easily mistaken for small or large whites. However both have an unmistakeable green pattern to the underwing if you do manage to spot them resting. If you have honesty in your garden, you may spot them on that too.
What yellow is known as Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata? That’s quite a hard one! Let me give you a clue, does she fly away home?
The 22-spot ladybird is one of three yellow ladybirds in the UK. Look for it in grassland, woodland and gardens. Ladybirds are beneficial insects, managing garden pests so encourage them by putting up a bug box.
Q What green is a hairy wild plant, closely related to borage, that is very attractive to bees.
A Green alkanet is often mistaken for forget me not. It’s very popular with bees and other pollinators, though can be difficult to eradicate if it takes over your garden or vegetable patch.
Q: What blue has bands of black along his body and is found near waterways including garden ponds?
A: The male Common blue damselfly is pale blue and the female is either blue or dull green, with distinctive black ‘torpedo’ markings. To identify the small blue damselflies, of which there are seven species in the UK, it helps to concentrate on the pattern on the second segment of the males’ abdomen, just behind the thorax. In the Common blue damselfly, this segment is blue with a black button mushroom-shaped mark.
Q: What common garden bird has feathers in a spectrum of colours including a sheen of green, indigo and purple?
A: The starlings of course. These real rainbow birds, have a vivid and colourful personality to match their coat of many colours! Put out a shallow bowl of water, and you may soon spot them splashing and noisily squabbling in your garden!
Q: What flower is named after the colour? Or is the colour named after the flower?
A: Either way, violets are a delightful find in Spring, they pop up in gardens, on verges and in parks. Dog violets and sweet violets are very similar, and this chart may help you work out which is which, although it also helps to get down in the grass and give them a sniff!
If you would like to share a quiz, or a rainbow, or a great idea for home schooling in your green spaces, we would love to hear from you.