I got to spend two weeks on a creek with kids this month. Glorious.
It was a huge shot of reminder of why I love nature studies.
I started the week off with a walk looking for interesting signs along the shoreline.
I found many of the specimens that the boys and I have studied during the
Outdoor Hour Challenges with the Handbook of Nature Study.
My favorite find were these tiny lil Queen Anne’s Lace. So tiny, so delicate. made me wonder if they were a different specimen.
I’d like to go back in August and see the plant fully grown.
We also looked for signs of animals.
In the photo below, storm debris or beaver . . . no chewed branches.
Signs of high water marks.
The trunk of this tree was about 8 feet above the rivers edge, packed with river rocks.
Oyster Mushrooms were abundant in the sunny spots on Red Alder tree trunks.
I made a list of all the plants I could find, then made a reference list with the Handbook of Nature Study, Plants of the Pacific Northwest, and a few Field Guides. After 6-7 years doing the Handbook of Nature Studies week by week, I’m pretty happy with my memory, knowledge and love of all things growing. I found out that my son, a Lake Camp, Camp Counselor, was set to do all of their outdoor walks and studies as he was the only one at camp that knew what all the plants/trees/animals names were. Made me Smile.
I love the little note at the end about your son being selected to lead the nature walks for his job, since he was the only one who knew about the names of natural items.
Our family loves nature study, and we work at it pretty regularly. Sometimes I am excited because we know something, but more often I am discouraged at how much we have forgotten. We studied insects several times, and learned and id’ed LOTS of them over the years. We find one of those occasionally, and look at each other. “Do you remember the name?” No. “Me either.” Back to the studies, I guess.
I wouldn’t get too discouraged – I bet, each time you encounter it, it is easier to look up the name. Sort of like running into an aquantence at the market. I know her, but from where??? What is her name?? Oh, from Swim Class, ummmmm, her name is?? Or the I’m sorry – I don’t know who you are . . . oh! Swim Class, Of Course. Same way with the species in the forest! Keep it it, it is worth it!
Thank you for the encouragement. I like the analogy of meeting an acquaintance and having to re-acquire the name. We all recognize these things as things we have once studied, but none of us remember the names.
We’ve been in a time of transition this year. As soon as we settle back down, and the weather cools some, we plan to get back to nature studies. Hopefully, one day we will look back and realize how much we have learned. 🙂
We are surrounded by creeks and study them year round. I love watching the changes! I will start to bring my nature guidebook with me and mark off the plants. That is a terrific idea. Thank you for sharing!
Thank You! So much fun!
I love this. Can you be our nature teacher? It’s one area I really lack in.
I’d love to lead Outdoor Hour Challenge activities in town. Our first /second year here we did it on Fridays with a group. Once a month? Twice a month? Connie Hansen Gardens alone will keep a person busy.