At the beginning of this school year I found the blog at handbookofnaturestudy.blogspot.com. Harmony Art Mom has put together a great online "Outdoor Hour Challenge" using Anna Botsford Comstock's "Handbook of Nature Study". She has links to some great nature journal notebooking pages, coloring pages, nature identification pages, etc. She has also created e-books containing her challenges if one wants to purchase them. We've been slowly working our way through some of her challenges, with some periodic breaks in between.
Last week we were to pick a focus area to study and the kids picked birds; there's not much else out and about this time of year. The only bird they saw last week was the crow. We were hoping to see something else this week.
This week we were on challenge #6-Collections. (See, I told you we were slow) The weather was decent today, so armed with our binoculars, camera, and field guide, we went outside to see what we could find. They kept their eyes and ears open-most of the time-and were able to identify some additional birds:
- Yellow Billed Magpie
- Western Scrub Jay
- Turkey Vulture (they think-it was too far away to really tell)
- American Crow
- Anna's Hummingbird
They also discovered a nest and alot of little birds flitting around so fast that we weren't able to identify them.
Conman took the collection part seriously and carried his plastic baggie along to collect specimens. He found:
- A feather (in keeping with the bird focus)
- A Douglas Fir Cone
- What appears to be an Austrian Pine Cone-however my i.d. skills are lacking!
- A White Pine Cone
- A Prickly Ball from a Sweet Gum Tree
The only other unusual and interesting thing I came across on our walk was this: