Outdoor Hour Challenge: Welcome to Spring!

This month in our nature walks, observations, and studies, we’ve been watching the weather change.  Not that the weather was winter at the beginning of March and now the weather is gradually changing to spring by the end.  No, more like one day it rains and then the next day it is warm and sunny and then the next day it is cold and gray and then the next day it is terribly hot and then the next day it rains again.  We have been seeing some signs of spring, though, like the rose in our backyard.  (My daughter named her new doll Rose after her favorite flower.)  After last month’s adventures in the snow, these signs of spring are very welcome to us all.

The first sign of spring in our backyard- a very lovely rose.

The first sign of spring in our backyard- a very lovely rose.

If March Comes In Like a Lion, It Will Go Out Like a Lamb.  In the Outdoor Hour Challenge newsletter, Barb told us to observe the weather at the beginning and the end of March to see if this saying held true.    I don’t think it did.  At least not in my area.  I’m not really sure what ‘coming in like a lion’ would look like in Northern California, but we had mild -and much needed- rain for the first few days of March.  These last few days of March contain the same: some mild and much needed rain.  The kids and I decided to draw our view of the backyard from our back door in our nature journals.

First weekend of March

First weekend of March

Winter Birds- Last year, when we lived 2 hours south of here, we put up a bird feeder in our backyard and discovered a love of bird watching none of us knew we had.  In the move, we lost pieces of the bird feeder.  I kept hoping we’d find them, but I finally just sent my hubby to the store to get a new one.  You can imagine my excitement when I finally filled it and put it up in our backyard, anxiously awaiting the arrival of new birds to get to know and enjoy.

Well, my bird feeder has remained distressingly full all month.  I’ve spotted perhaps 1 or 2 birds at it- and only briefly.  Not long enough to even see what color they were.  I think I need to do some experimenting with the placement.  Perhaps there will be a more tantalizing spot to hang the thing.

A distressingly full bird feeder

A distressingly full bird feeder

Signs of Spring- The cherry blossom trees have been blooming- they are such a lovely sight.  There have been many trees bursting into white blossoms all over as well.  My three year old thought they looked fuzzy.  When we went to a park, I tried to give everyone a chance to feel the flowers on the tree, but he had run off in the direction of the tennis court and didn’t end up getting to touch the blossoms.  He never mentioned it again, so I think he’ll be ok.

The cherry blossom tree across the street

The cherry blossom tree across the street

Fuzzy flowers

Fuzzy flowers- and if you look closely, you can spot Z-urchin in the tennis court

My oldest wanted to make a ball out of nature things, so he set to work on that one beautiful day at  the park.  My daughter found a very large dandelion and my youngest had fun on the slide.

Ball of Nature

Ball of Nature

Dandelion

Dandelion

Fun on the slide!

Fun on the slide!

A few weeks later, on another sunny, warm day, we took a walk by a nearby small lake.  We found plenty of mud, moss on a rock, and poppies.  Now poppies have replaced the rose as my daughter’s favorite flower.

Even the littlest gets in on the nature study when he feels the moss on the rock

Even the littlest gets in on the nature study when he feels the moss on the rock

Exploration

Exploration

The California Poppy

The California Poppy

The Lake

The Lake on a Beautiful Day

Snack time

Snack time

We decided to draw in our journals the things we saw the first day of spring.  I saw cherry blossom trees, butterflies, and poppies.  My observant older two had also noticed some flowering on the lemon tree in our backyard and had to add that to their page.

Journal entries from the first day of spring

Journal entries from the first day of spring

The kids have also done some fun nature exploration in the backyard.  Well, it was clearly fun for them anyway.

Free nature play in the backyard

Free nature play in the backyard

I don’t know.  Maybe the saying held true in a backwards fashion for us.  March came in like a lamb and (so my kids decided to help it go) out like a lion.  A very, very muddy lion.

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4 thoughts on “Outdoor Hour Challenge: Welcome to Spring!

  1. Pingback: Outdoor Hour Challenge Blog Carnival – March 2014 | JanNews Blog

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