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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Backyard Nature Study

One thing I have heard and know to be a truth is that your kids will love the things you love. What my kids see me passionate about will influence what they will be passionate about. Ever since I first read Pocketful of Pinecones by Karen Andreola I have set it in my mind to make nature study a big part of our school. To admire God's handiwork makes Him a little more real to me. I have always liked to be outdoors, spent most of my childhood there. My parents really instilled in me a sense of wonder and amazement of our natural world. As I got older, I lost that wonder and zeal, but now I feel like I may be getting it back. I am resolved to lead by example in our nature study. And it's amazing how much stuff there is to explore in our own little yard. We have a huge bush in front of our house that is just a buzz with bees(excuse the cheesy play on words). An eastern kingbird has built a nest right under the lip of our backporch roof. The porch is screened in and the nest is about eye level, so the babies are very easy to observe, though it tends to make mother kingbird a little nervous for us to be so close. She flys at the screen like she's going to peck your eyes out, but ( I hope) she's just warning us. I usually go inside when I see her do that, I can totally relate to the nervousness of strangers gawking at my children. Saturday it rained and the snails were out in full force. We've been doing some landscaping and the earthworms fascinate Jack. I have bird feeders everywhere and try to take time to just sit in front of the door and watch what birds come by. Monday , there was a HUGE red headed woodpecker just strolling through the backyard. Rabbits eat my hostas (not cute at all) and lizards scurry up the foundation of the house. It's like a zoo and I love that I don't have to go anywhere to come in contact with some truly amazing creatures. I was rather surprised that my backyard was such a hot bed of nature study!

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