Due to heavy rains Tuesday night and the fact that we met my sister for lunch on Wednesday, we were unable to go to our nature center this week. I was afraid that I’d be feeling a little withdrawal, but it was an incredible nature study day in the five minutes it took me to take the dog out this morning. I’m afraid this might fall under the “educating me” category, though, because the kids weren’t even up at the time all the excitement was going on.
When I walked outside, the trees were literally teeming with birds — mostly migrating blackbirds. While I was walking the dog, I heard a loud crashing sound in one of the trees and thought it was a couple of squirrels chasing each other. Then, I saw something moving around and realized it was much bigger than a squirrel. “A cat,” I thought.
No, it was a huge, red-tailed hawk in the tree in my backyard! I was completely enthralled. He was beautiful! I stood there just watching him for a long time, then decided that I’d get the camera and try to get a picture of him. Of course, he was gone, nowhere to be seen, by the time I got back. I did sketch him and a squirrel, though, from a picture online. Not quite the same, but I was pleased with how much my sketches have improved since checking out some library books last weekend and practicing. I highly recommend Drawing Wildlife and First Steps Drawing in Pen & Ink.
In addition to the hawk, there were several squirrels and cardinals out this morning. I hope to do a little nature study make-up time today. Our homeschool group is going on a field trip to an apple orchard today. Depending on how that goes, we may take a little side trip to a nearby national forest. So, I may have an updated nature study post later on.
We also found some goldenrod in the wooded lot at the end of our street this weekend. The kids brought some in to sketch and to observe with a magnifying glass. I meant to go back and take some pictures, but I forgot. Finding goldenrod to observe was the nature study challenge this week at Handbook of Nature Study. It’s amazing how we see it everywhere now that we know what it looks like and are paying attention to looking for it.