Outdoor Hours in April

We have had a beautiful month.  We celebrated Easter, enjoyed some days of blessed rain and reveled in some days of glorious sunshine.

 

Dandelions

Dandelions

Nature walks (and I use the term walk loosely here) are so very relaxing (except when I am trying to keep toddlers from running away or running into danger).  X-man plopped himself in front of a dandelion and watched it for awhile.  Then he blew on it lightly to see the seeds flutter away in the air.

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Princess gathered clover for a bouquet.

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Later on in the month, we went to a nearby park with some old friends for our nature explorations.  There was a lake and mud and all kids of branches.  The kids saw fish and tadpoles, they created ‘fishing poles’ with sticks and went ‘fishing’ on the side of the lake, and they waded in to squish the mud between their toes.

Wading and exploring

Wading and exploring

 

Our youngest explorers

Our youngest explorers- cautious before jumping in

 

But jump in they did!

But jump in they did!

I love the slow pace of nature walks and nature study.  Kids can sit and reflect and contemplate.  They can get noisy and rambunctious.  They can scream and shout and close their eyes and breathe.  When we are out on a nature walk, the rest of the world just fades away… except, of course, for the constant clicking and clacking of my camera.

Reflection and study

Reflection and study

While we were walking along the side of the lake, what did we see through a little gap in the dense shrubs and trees?  Turtles!  Resting in the sun.  I’ve never seen turtles in the wild before.   Once home, I did a little googling and discovered that they are the Western Pond Turtle.  I learned that these guys are apparently really hard to see.  They submerge when humans approach.  The recommended way to see them is to hide behind trees and shrubs.  Due to my extensive expertise, I endorse this strategy.

Western Pond Turtles

Western Pond Turtles- so cute!

My little princess found a cluster of poppies growing on the side of the hill.  She loves poppies.

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We completed some nature journal entries for our nature adventures this month.

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SAM_7939

Ah, the great outdoors!

20140409_125205We have been very excited about the new things going on over at the Outdoor Hour Challenge website:  Handbook of Nature Study.  There are so many resources that have encouraged us in our Nature Study pursuits.  Whether or not you homeschool, nature exploration and study is so valuable for the whole family, and this site can guide you in starting a habit of nature study that will bless you year after year.  I know we have been blessed.

Happy Nature Exploration, everyone!

 

 

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