Children have fun at Sherborn Playground

By Lauren Schiavone
Weekly Hometown Staff

Although school has just closed, children in the Dover-Sherborn area got up early last Friday morning to attend a special outdoor summer lesson. Bryan Man, better known as Professor Bugman, lent his expertise to friends at Sherborn’s Playground for a bug safari.

An adventurer holds up a jar containing a makeshift ecosystem for a moth.

Maureen Hayes, Librarian of Sherborn Youth Services, chose the theme for the summer reading events “Beyond the Beaten Path” and shared her passion for nature by participating in the day.

Professor Bugman and his swarm of entomologists themselves wandered off the beaten path and ventured through the Sherborn playground on Cemetery Lane and across a nearby pond to identify many insects, some crustaceans (such as isopods) and plant life.

Bugman provided the students with magnifying glasses, sweeping nets and jars to facilitate their journey. Students practiced twisting their wrists and rocking their nets back and forth to learn the correct technique, making sure the bag of the net was open for insects (as they tend to fly upwards) .

A young entomologist shows off his proud find: a bark louse.

When Maureen Hayes asked Professor Bugman for advice on how to preserve and connect with nature, her response was to encourage children from an early age to be present in the community – and to visit different local areas. , such as wildlife refuges, to safely engage with The World Around Us.

To that end, Professor B made sure to write down the rules of the outdoor classroom, the most important being not to disturb nature. Navigating with a great level of knowledge and empathy, he noticed an ant carrying a small piece of dirt. “Let them do their job,” he said. “If you were doing your homework or your chores and a giant picked you up, you wouldn’t be very happy.”

As there were no giants in sight – just a beautiful morning, an outdoor classroom and very competent teachers – the young entomologists present for the day’s insect safari were very happy indeed.

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