Monday, February 14, 2011

Colors of Winter: Nature Walk

Yesterday and today were the nicest days we’ve had in a while (getting up to 40 degrees) and the sun actually came out as well!! So this morning we decided to FINALLY get out and go for a nature walk. After a dull week of school last week, the sunshine and chance to get outside were a welcomed idea.

And now, after having done it, I can say I feel like we’ve all done a 180!! It feels so good to have gotten out and breathe a little fresh air. God’s creation truly is awesome and refreshes the soul in an incomparable way.

Our goal for the nature walk was to identify some winter colors. (I had wanted to participate in the Nature of Handbook Outdoor Challenge, but it was too cold the week they did it – so once again, I realize I’m late, but hey, better late than never, right?) I thought that Alexa (or Natalee as she is calling herself this week) would particularly enjoy this type of nature walk, and she did.

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This was a great project, because it’s actually tough to find color in the middle of winter. This was a great exercise for both the kids and me to look past the white (snow) and brown (icky) to fresh color.     IMG_0074  You can see for yourself some of what we found:

IMG_0061It was a little funny because we went for a 20 minute nature walk and found brown, green, yellow and white but as we got in our car to head home we spotted red, orange and blue in the trees near the parking lot.  IMG_0114

IMG_0103 I felt like these leaves were really stretching it, they seemed more tan to me, but we didn’t have a tan card so I rolled with it.

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We saw better green stuff but Treyton was very interested in the green bark, which I agree is pretty interesting. 

IMG_0107I was so disappointed that we didn’t find any red on our walk and it was like the Lord decided to give me a little gift as we were leaving. We parked RIGHT in front of this tree but I was so busy getting the kids out of the car and bundled up I didn’t even see it!!

IMG_0110 Treyton had really wanted to see orange, and the same thing happened for him as for me (with the red) as we were driving away I saw some dead evergreen branches hanging out into the parking lot. So we pulled over and snapped a picture.

The nature park that we went to has a lot of great trails but they don’t shovel them, so they were pretty packed down and icy. The kids were so excited to be outside they didn’t even care. I held Natalee’s hand the entire time and wore Audrey on my front, we were slow and steady and luckily I almost fell only once.

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While we were on our walk we spotted lots of tracks. We talked about how snow is really good for making tracks and how neat it was that we could see where the animals had been. We also saw a few more “well beaten trails”, I pointed out to Treyton that that was where the animals walked over and over again.

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We saw a few piles of brush, and Treyton noticed how there was more poop (scat) underneath the brush. I asked him why he thought that was. He made a great observation that a rabbit could easily camouflage under the trees, so he might live there or hide there. IMG_0093

We saw LOTS of deer tracks.

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Both kids had fun pointing them out and telling us it was a deer.

IMG_0095At first Alexa didn’t recognize the tracks but her big brother was kind enough to point them out for her.

IMG_0099And then we found one other tracks that I wasn’t sure what it was, and I only saw one of them. I took a picture and Treyton and I are going to try to look it up later and figure out what it is. IMG_0087

Any ideas?

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At this particular nature park that we went to there is a river running along it, so we walked along the river and saw the ducks.

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Treyton and I made a few observations:

  • Some of the ducks have green heads, others have brown (I explained the difference was male and female)
  • The ducks put their heads under water really fast, probably to eat and drink.
  • They are good swimmers and they don’t seem to be very cold even though the water seems REALLY cold.

It was a very successful nature walk and we are all so glad we did it (even Audrey, who cried the last 5 minutes or so of the walk).

After we got home, Treyton sat down and drew in his nature journal some of the colors that we saw. IMG_0001

1 comment:

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Excellent color challenge! I am so glad families are using the color cards with little ones...this is such a great activity and it will be fun to revisit it in another season too.

Lots of tracks to spark the imagination! Thanks so much for sharing your study and your photos with the OHC.