We have not been posting many Year Long Nature study updates, nor participating with the Outdoor Hour Challenges from the Handbook of Nature Study. But that doesn’t mean that on the day to day – we are ignoring what is changing around us. I write a lot of blogs in my head as we go on about our days.
I am mostly thankful for all of those years, week by week, being encouraged to keep our eyes open. Anticipate finding a flower, tree, bird, or critter that you are unfamiliar with the name.
Observational science is powerful. Built up over years – one becomes a part of nature. You might think a long term observer becomes an expert, but what I’ve found is that the items found in nature change so much year to year, the observer is forever a student.
For instance – we have had rain almost every single day since November 15th, 2015. Yes, this month we’ve had a string of days with blue sky, but like this morning, all is damp and the sky is still grey. This has created growth like I’ve either never seen, or never recalled seeing. Take the buttercups below. I thought they were a new species, but they are just the most full thick plants I’ve ever noticed.
This morning I dropped Jon off for fishing before 6 a.m. Upon returning, I experienced the most delightful treat ever – Early Morning – Honeysuckle. I think it’s a reward from heaven after such a long wet season. Ha. I was wishing I had smell o vision for o you. (I didn’t take a photo of our honeysuckle yet – it just started blooming.)
We continue with our year round tree observation and following the patterns of the sunsets. I can’t even begin to express the joy that wells up in my heart when we are on a walk and the boys bring up facts or observations from past studies. Especially when it is something we’ve read from a field guide that they had not been able to observe in nature. The tears try to come out when we are with a group of friends and they are sharing an interesting tid bit with them. Sigh.
I challenge you to get on board. We seriously benefited from many years of following the challenges from the Handbook of Nature Study’s website. We still get their emails and I saw that today’s challenge is for a wildflower and weed grid chart. Sign up for their emails and get inspired! No matter the age of your kids – any time is a good time to learn the names of the plants, animals, birds and critters that you share your walks with!
I leave you with a little photo from yesterday. These purple iris flowers are growing all over the cliffs above the ocean. They area all only 2-4 inches high. The blue in the background is the Pacific Ocean. Maybe I have just never spent so many hours on cliffs watching Jon surf fish, or maybe just not this time of year – but I’ve never seen so many beautiful purple flowers on cliffs before!
What will surprise you in nature this week?
As I used to remind you – – I will again. Homeschooling is hard work. Nature Study is Harder. Come for a hike with us – we can comfort each other in the journey. Ha.