Sunday, April 6, 2008

Green Hour Challenge 6 and 7

We did these challenges during separate weeks, but I am just getting around to posting about them. I am excited about this weeks challenge: Up Close and Personal. With this challenge #8, we will be looking at different things with a magnifying glass. How cool is that!

We have been seeing so many things from nature our eyes weren't tuned into as before. A different shaped leaf, an unusual shaped rock, an unknown flower, an animal, and more... We have been blessed to see many different types of animal in our yard lately. Here are some highlights:

We have seen a Opossum (not dead in the middle of the road, but a real live one!) and Raccoons on our deck late at night.

The kids found two Long-Toed salamanders and they made a little habitat for him for a couple hours.

A bird is building a nest in our newspaper box. We don't get the paper, so it is fine by us. It is at a perfect height so we can see the nest building process and hopefully see some eggs and baby birdies. We saw the mom with a twig in her beak one day and we now that this bird is a Mountain Chickadee (great site with eggs in the nest). The next day after we took the picture below, it looked like someone reached their hand in and destroyed the nest. We thought this oppertunity was all over now. But a few days later it was built up again (see pictres for challenge 7). We will be sharing more pictures each weeks as we watch this birds nest.

Challenge 6: Starting a Collection

I asked the kids what things they would like to collect. I can't say we have gotten to far with this.

Holly: She has been collecting sea shells and wants to add to her collection.

Question: Would it be ok to purchase a pack of sea shells from a craft store and help her to identify them? Or would that be cheating? Or does she need to find them on her own at the beach?

Jessica wants to start a insect collection. UM... I haven't been to keen on encouraging this. Bad mommy. But I don't care much for bugs. But she does... I need to have her start gathering the bugs she would like to "kill" and get this project started. I will do better at encouraging this... I will, I will, I will...

Timmy: He doesn't know... Don't think his is interested in collecting anything. And know what... That is ok.

Jake: Pressed flowers... Now this one I like. We have already pressed a couple flowers he has plucked from the ground.

We did a Mini-Study on the salamander as well as our Green Hour Notebooking Page.

I drew a picture of a Alstroemeria in my sketch book.

Challenge 7: Your Own Field Guide

We don't have a color printer and I don't think I am up to creating our own field guide yet. Love the idea though. We do keep track of birds we see in our yard and add them to our list. Recently we added a Black-Capped Chickadee to our list.

While Jessica and Timmy were out dirt bike riding, Timmy saw a black tailed deer next to the path. He stopped his bike and the deer ran about 5 feet in front of him, crossing his path. He thought that was AMAZING! (see Weekly Report for pictures)

Holly did a sketch entry of the opossum in her nature journal.

We did a Mini-Study on the opossum and also did our Green Hour Notebooking Page.

As a extra bonus, we watched Kristen's Fairy House (this site has some neat coloring pages and other activities to do). It was a cute movie that really touched on nature studies. It was neat watching the aunt sketch in her notebook (of a tree) while her niece built a fairy house. I saw it as a wonderful example of how to sketch in our journals. These sketches were used for the aunts books. We checked out the video from our local library.

The next day Holly set off into the woods and made her own Fairy House. She had a lot of fun making it. I was really impressed at what she choose to use. She even used some shells from her sea shell collection.

Holly also was happy to find a bee with pollen on it and she wanted to keep it until dad got home so he could see the pollen on its legs.

We have had some really bazaar weather around her lately. As we were driving home one evening, the clouds above the Olympic Mountains looked amazing. There was a little light showing between 2 peeks and dark clouds all round it. When we got home, Jessica went to her nature journal and sketch what she saw.

And here is a picture of what the nest looks like as of 2 days ago:

We also went on a nature walk with the folks from Koinonia Academy and another family. What an experience this was. We got hailed on! And not just a little either. When we arrived it was nice and sunny. I took a few pictures of the clouds in the skies because I thought they looked neat. Little did I know what they were really holding in them. I should have known. LOL Enjoy some of the pictures from our walk in the slide show below. To read captions, just click on slide and scroll over the picture.

And that concludes our 2 weeks in review of our Green Hour Challenges!

~*~Have A Wonderful Week~*~


Jimmie said...

Wow! Your nature studies are so great! I love your drawing too. Don't you find it relaxing to draw nature? I do.

Tina said...

Thanks, Jimmie!

Yes, I love drawing in my journal. I have always enjoyed it, but it is something I rarely do. Now I have an "excuse" to do it.

I still need to schedule time to go out with the kids that want to sketch outdoors and do it. I think that would be so AWESOME to sketch something outdoors, while you are there.

Have a wonderful day!

Rhonda said...

I really enjoyed reading aobut your GHC. We just started ours last week, so we're a bit behind. (oh, the things you miss when you take a blogging break)

We have had opossums, skunks, and raccoons in our yard. It amazes me the amount of wildlife that comes out at night in our suburban neighborhood.


The Sparks Circus said...

answered your pod from the sky question on my blog, Your possum was so much bigger our is really still small. It is maybe 6 inches long.

Wee Pip said...

I followed the link on the Mtn Chickadee - what a beautiful bird! Last year, a birdy couple built a nest in our bbq grill. We kept trying to get rid of the nest, but they kept rebuilding it (we are currently still using our bbq grill). They ended up laying little blue eggs. I never did find out what kind of birds those were.

keri said...

You've done GREAT with your nature studies. My son would love to get a hold of that salamander!

Anonymous said...

You've certainly been busy with nature! So many wonderful things going on. Being able to observe the Chickadee building a nest is super neat! And I loved that your daughter went out a built her "fairy house", that sounds exactly like what my daughter would love to do.

Thank you so much for sharing all your wonderful nature going-ons!

Blessings, Melissa

Tami, part-time blogger - full time scrapbooker said...

Hi Tina!

Your nature study is so inspiring. I loved the racoons and possums on the deck. Too cool. I can't wait for MINN to thaw out enough to do these challenges!

Thanks for the inspiration.


Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Can you see me giving you and your children a standing ovation??? :)

So many good things to say about your entry. Love the journals, love the collection ideas, and love the variety of ways you are finding nature in your everyday life.

I was thinking there are a few pages in the front of the HNS on killing insects for collections but since I am not near my book I can't give you specifics. I will try to find it when I get home.

I can't wait to share our nature study this week.

Thanks so much for all your work in sharing your GH challenges.
Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Andrea said...

What amazing animal encounters you have had lately! Your post was so inspiring! I love all of the notebook pages and photos! I also love that you let your kids choose NOT to have a collection and are okay with that. That is so wise. Sometimes I try to force too much on my kids, and am disappointed when they don't embrace the things I want them to. Taking a step back and realizing that we all have different interests is always a good idea.

tressays said...

Wow! What an entry! You guys are doing a fabulous job on your nature study.

I was in Florida the first time I ever saw a possum. I had no idea what it was! LOL I just thought that it was this huge, ugly rat on my back porch.

We put seed in our birdfeeders and have had all kinds of small birds visiting. I think I may blog about it as soon as I can get some pictures. :)

Rapunzel's Mom in PA said...

Tina -

What fabulous entries. Thank you so much for the notebooking pages. We are slowly beginning to become more consistent with our nature time and I plan to use your notebooking pages. Thank you so very much for sharing them.

LisaWA said...

Wow! Busy busy! It all looks great! I like what the kids are doingnear the tree... They have so much fun, dont they? The habitat for the salamander looks cozy! They did a very good job Tina!

We decided not to do challenge 6, but still working on 7. Not behind... but right where I need to be. Easing back blog time in!

So glad the sun is out today! Its warm too! Hope you are outside enjoying the weather today!

Have a great weekend... Lisa

Jessica said...

And a wonderful two weeks they were too!

Brittney said...

LOVE the fairy house! Great job!

I just wanted to pop in and say "hi"! I have not been 'round much lately, but I have been thinking about my buddies in the great NW! And...I am moving closer in a few months (n. CA)!

Hope all is well with you and your family!


School for Us said...

Wow! What a wonderful nature study. You shared so much, I'm not sure what to comment on. :-)

I love that you had both a possum and a raccoon visit you! How neat! I love the nature journal pages, the fairy house (my daughter would love to do that), and the bee with pollen - I think that's cool when I see it, too!

Great job! I hope to get back in the challenge "game" this week. :-)