Monday, December 14, 2009

Nature Study, Outdoor Hour Challenge #7 . . .

Your Own Field Guide:

We were able to get outside, finally, during the Thanksgiving holiday. A tradition of our family's is to go find a real tree on my grandparents ranch for Christmas. There was a few inches of snow there waiting for us, but the weather cooperated and the wind, for once, was not blowing. The climb was a little steeper than other times, and the snow made it interesting for those that did not have good boots on. What made this adventure even more fun for the kids was the fact that their cousins, Aunts, Uncles, and Grandparents were there with us!

There had been a fire in the area a few years ago, and it was sad to still see the damaging effects. We saw many different types of trees; douglas fir, ponderosa pine, quaking aspen (leafless, of course), etc. It was hard to find any pine cones to add to our collection, as the ground was covered in a blanket of white, but we did have luck with the tree we chose, it is a beautiful ponderosa pine and it is covered with pine cones. It is fun to get out and see nature in all its seasons.

There seems to be such a stillness and calm in nature during the winter months. We were also able to see a few animal tracks here and there in the snow, but were unable to get any viable pictures. One set we knew was a deer track and most likely from a white-tailed deer, as that is the kind that populates the area.

We have started on our Mammals Field Guide. I was able to start with items that I had around the house. The little binder was home to periodic table flash cards that I put an elastic around and will store until we need them. The index cards were from a grandparent that did not need them anymore and gave to us, thanks Grandma! I love this size because it is easy to take with us on our Outdoor Hours. I am having a hard time finding binders this size and type in stores though, so if anyone has seen them recently, let me know.

We used the field guide example from here as a base for the information needed. The kids are very excited to help with this fun project and add to it in the future.

1 comment:

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

I love taking a walk in the snow because it is so peaceful and still. Loved hearing about your time outdoors and your mammal field guide is going to be fantastic!

Thanks for sharing your link,
Barb-Harmony Art Mom