Now that all the snow has been gone for about a week and a half, the wood frogs nature class was finally a go!
These are some really neat frogs! They dwell in the northern most climates and can shut down their bodies for the winter months and then “bring themselves back to life” in the spring.
At our class today we all headed down to the vernal pool and though the frogs were quiet, we did get to see eggs and some spring growth happening. Liam had learned in the forestry class a few weeks ago that if you count a sprig of pines, you will then be able to name the type of pine tree it came from. Meaning 5 pine needles= a 5 letter word= WHITE- white pine.
counting pine needles
spring growth- the shape of them caught our eye
Looking for frogs
Observing eggs! About 500 in this picture
eggs floating on the surface of the pool
John James Audubon was an American ornithologist, artist and naturalist known for his studies, drawings and paintings of North American birds.
We have been studying his book, The Birds of America, which has over 400 reproductions in it.
After viewing many of the birds and listening to a biography of Audubon, we started an art project; transparency bird prints!
We used our own Birds of the Northeast book, chose a bird, using transparency sheets, lay it on top of the chosen bird, color with water-based markers and made prints on to white construction paper!
Supplies- bird book, markers, transparency sheets, damp sponge (not very wet at all or maker will bleed!) construction or printer paper
Here’s the steps and the prints:
Choose a photo of the bird and trace and color in with markers on the clear sheet-
Try blending as many colors together as possible, when you’re done- dampen the white sheet of paper and press down the transparency sheet (marker side down)
Carefully lift off and view your print! We did touch up a few areas with the marker to make the image sharper afterwards, but they came out beautifully!
Tossed aside all planned lessons today and went for a nature walk. It was a bit drizzly outside, but not enough to deter us from heading outdoors. We went to Haley Farm State Park an old shoreline farm. So glad we did! We saw a ton of interesting things and it was filled with beautiful wildflowers too.
I brought along our book, The Handbook of Nature Study, so we could identify things along the way, like this Cup-shaped puffball mushroom. Luke who’s 2yrs, pointed out the next one when I asked him which one matched in the book. I was impressed that he got it!
There was tons of Milkweed growing along the path and we took an up- close look at a Milkweed pod as well! Felt the texture and read some facts from the book.
As we made our way around we found some great rocks to climb on and take a short break.
By the shoreline was very pretty and the boys explored a bit and went right down to the water.
The next thing was spotted by Liam, he found these two cocoons, not sure what type of cocoons they are, but they were neat to see!
Now this last find was so cool! As we were just about to end our trip we spotted this Orange Garden Spider and web! Again, we grabbed the book to find out exactly what we were looking at and read some facts on this spider and it’s cool pattern in the web!
Needless to say, this was a great way to start the day today! We came home and did some art activities with leaves we collected.
Alas, the sun finally made an appearance and we were ready to hike after a long week of being stuck inside! We live in New England, so therefore, we packed both our suits and our sweatshirts- not knowing just how the weather was going to turn out as the day progressed. Gotta love it!
We meet regularly with a small group of local homeschoolers’ and hike new trails. This week we set out to Wolf Den State Park! A favorite trail of ours, that we have hiked once or twice in the past.
This week I took to noticing that the group of children~more in particularly my own, have really begun to be quite the little nature bugs! They all have so many questions about the plants and trees they are seeing, or looking for conformation on recognizing one from a previous hike. “What kind of leaf is this?” “What is this over here?” “What kind of bug is this?” “Isn’t this the same flower we saw last time?” “Did you hear that bird, what bird is it? ~They all take turns to yell out with excitement at one point or another with something they’ve spotted, and everyone else runs up eager to see!
The flowers have blossomed as well as the relationships with this group! They seemed to have quickly noted the likes and dislikes of each other, and will shout to each other when they spot something they know the other is interested in. As well as a fair warning! They check in with each other as we walk, look out for one another and encourage one another along the way as feet and spirits get tired. My youngest son riding along in the backpack get many visitors too, whether it be for a rock or stick or some other treasure found for him to hold, or more precious, another child walking beside us holding his hand and talking with him!
This week was pure conformation to me that this is not just simply a nice hike outdoors with friends, this is hands-on life learning at it’s best! So many basic skills and life long relationships are being formed!
Can’t wait for next week! 🙂