Monday, February 15, 2010

Exploring Nature in Winter

The boys and I had to look for a park that was open. After all the snow we had some of gated parks stayed closed for a few days but we managed to find a nice spot to hang out in. For the first 30 minutes they hung out with a couple of friends on the playground equipment. Then we started walking by the little creek that runs through the park. It was really flowing well because there was melting going on. We stayed casual for a bit and I took the opportunity to notice some winter color and form.

I don't remember ever seeing this bush before. It was covered with these lovely reddish pink flowers.
The petals look like paper ribbon.
Sweet gum seed pod.
Bright green moss.
Wild strawberries peeking through the fallen leaves.
After a little while I asked the boys to explore and find two interesting things for me to take a picture of. This isn't something that I normally do, but they weren't really connecting at all with what they were seeing. I'm not sure why that was but the task definitely helped to get them going.

Here is one of Tigger's finds. He found a sweet gum seed locked into a snowy ice pack.

Pooh picked up a sweet gum seed pod too (they were all over the place) and asked me to come to this tree stump he found.
It wasn't the stump but this fungus that caught his attention.

Exploring we found the source of the little creek.

I then suggested that we hunt for tracks in the snow that was still all under the trees. I was surprised that we actually found some! I'm not good at tracks yet so this is just guessing right now:
Raccoon? (Edited: After looking thru a tracking book it's not a raccoon. I think it may be in the rodent family but with this picture it's just too hard to tell.)

Squirrel? Or Mouse?



After that it was time for some serious fooling around.

After all, boys must be boys.

I think we were out there for about two hours in case you're wondering. The longer we were out there the more natural our explorations were. I like ending on a positive note. It helps them have a happy memory of what we do. There weren't any notebook entries this time around. Hopefully, we'll be able to get those pulled out again soon.


Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Really nice entry! I love all the animal tracks and that your boys were having such a great time.

You found so much color too!

Thanks for sharing your link with the carnival.
Barb-Harmony Art Mom

argsmommy said...

I like the idea of asking your boys to find something for you to photograph. My son sometimes has trouble getting excited about our nature walks, so that might be a good way to get him more engaged.

Quinn said...

Great nature walk! You saw such a variety of things! I'm intrigued by the unidentified tracks... I wonder what that could be? It would drive me nuts not to know- I feel like I need to id any sign of animal life that might be around so that I know what I could potentially encounter face to face some day ;)