Infinity and Beyond

Here is how the concept of infinity is being learned by Daughter:

A few months ago, while getting ready for bedtime stories, Daughter asked me out of the blue “What’s the highest number of all?”. I explained how there is no highest number, as you can add 1 to anything to get a bigger number. The next day we went over number places, and the idea that you can always add another zero to the end of a number, on and on forever. I told her this forever was called infinity.

Last night we were watching an episode of The Tick, and there was an “infinity ball” hurtling through space. Daughter noticed that it was “an 8 lying down” and we told her that was the symbol for infinity. Now she is noticing the symbol around, like on my digital camera (in focus mode). 


Yesterday evening we headed out to the back yard to play ball. Daughter and I got distracted by some ants crawling in the grass. Our lawn is neither watered (other than rain) nor treated so it’s a mixture of part grass, part moss, and a few interesting plants thrown in like clover. We saw some plants that had what appeared to be seed pods. We opened one and it had tiny pearl-like seeds lined up inside, just like our sugar snap peas in the garden. We opened another and noticed the seeds were more opaque and darker in colour. We then plucked a bunch of seed pods and Daughter wished to sort them (she’s into sorting things) while we discussed our theories as to why the seeds varied in colour and opacity. 



Later we went back to look for more seed pods and saw some fascinating stuff. First, we saw some ants swarming over a stink bug. The bug had a large hole in the side of its carapace and you could see that most of the inside was hollow. However, its legs and antennae were moving! Just occasionally but definite movement. We moved the stink bug to a swing seat to get a closer look:

We also saw an ant carrying a large wing – looked like a flying ant wing or other such insect. And we saw an ant carrying a dead ant. They appeared to be the same species (judging by size and colour) and we wondered if this was the Undertaker of his colony, charged with taking the dead guys outside! Ants are really fascinating creatures. 

It’s amazing what worlds you can discover in a small patch of backyard lawn!

Categories: natural learning | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Infinity and Beyond

  1. Nicki

    Yesterday we received our ants (we’ve been waiting for them since February — I know, I know, why were we waiting for ants in the mail when they’re running all over our back porch — long story) for our ant farm (Uncle Milton’s green gel) and have been watching them almost non-stop as they tunnel away and haul the tunneled material up to the surface; it’s totally fascinating. Fun to watch their mandibles and their antennae and their eyes.. super cool!

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