Out in this, God’s beautiful world, there is everything waiting to heal lacerated nerves, to strengthen tired muscles to please and content the soul that is torn to shreds, with duty and care. To the teacher who turns to nature’s healing, nature study in the schoolroom is not a trouble; it is a sweet, fresh breath of air…” – Anna Botsford Comstock, Handbook of Nature Study
And, with that hope, so began our nature study for the year. You may recall that I had a plan for nature study this year — for making sure that we did it and didn’t let it fall by the wayside. Well, today was the first day of Josh and Megan’s music class. There are two hours between their classes, so, as soon as Megan’s class was over, we went to eat, then, we headed over to join the nearby nature center.
Joining was a fun experience, in and of itself. The lady who runs the visitor’s center was extremely nice and immediately pegged us as homeschoolers (three school-aged kids, out with their mom in the middle of the day, joining a nature center…I don’t know how she guessed). Once I mentioned our plans to come out there weekly, with our sketch pads, she pulled me out the door to show me a great spot to sketch, if were were studying perspective.
Then, she brought me back in and pulled out a map, showing me the best place to go to see a variety of flowers in the spring, the perfect spot for learning about water quality or looking for tadpoles, and the location of a unique tree for which she also had a fact sheet and a poem.
I think I’m going to like this lady. She was really friendly and appears to a be a wonderful source of information.
After signing up and chatting awhile, we really didn’t have much time to sketch, but we did wander around the trails to try to get a feel for what will be available to us there. The kids loved it as much as they loved the nature walk we went on earlier this spring. They were begging to come back after Josh’s music class was over, but we had things to do at home (not the least of which, for me, was finishing Breaking Dawn, the last book in the Twilight series) and I want to keep our trips to the nature park unique so that it remains something that they look forward to.
We did have fun today, though, exploring the trails:
Finding some really fascinating “decomposers”:
Checking out the beautiful scenery by the creek:
And, discovering the place that the kids want to go to first next time:
We’re all looking forward to next week’s nature study!