Vacation Highlight #8: Nature

Anything nature related holds my kids' attention, they really are budding naturalists (as is their mama).  The great thing about summer, so much is always going on outside!  Camp has a wealth of opportunities! We counted how long the cormorants stayed under water (about 23 seconds is what we decided), perfected replication of the mourning dove call, we made habitats for toads and frogs, we caught minnows with a net, counted the legs on a crayfish (10), tried to see if there was a difference between freshwater muscles and salt water muscles, we tried to decide if the inland marshy wetland kingfisher was the same as the one that frequented our dock, noticed the seagulls all head upriver at dusk, but are spread back out by the time we awake in the morning, we noticed the great blue heron tends to swoop in after the seagulls have departed, we watched the heron flip the fish to swallow it whole (always head first!), we watched the mink slither away (Holly helping with some barking), noticed the trees that are dead on the islands from the acidity of the cormorants' poop, snorkeled for underwater flora and fauna in action, noticed the fish who had a fused dorsal fin and which had split, we looked for beaver activity and noticed the habitat change from the beaver activity, counted ducklings (and unfortunately noticed a steady subtraction in numbers), were intrigued by osprey babies and enjoyed watching mama feed them, stopped in our tracks and looked up when Anna-Kate yelled "Bird of prey", we dealt with more earwigs than we ever would like (did you know the moms guard their eggs?), found cicada exoskeletons,  collected more insects, moths, butterflies than I could tally (so many more black tiger swallowtails in NY, more Easter tiger swallowtails in Maine), we know about plants to stay away from (we do not want the wild parsnips...even if they provide more back tiger swallowtails!...but we would gladly take some roadside chicory, not any on our roadside in Maine), we're working on developing our weather prediction skills/cloud reading and we count our blessings everytime we avoid a collision with deer on the roadway. I could go on and on and on...Daily we read about nature and recorded our entries in our nature journals. Kids kept a steady supply of mandalas with current finds. Flowers always on the table. Buckets always full of something. We school year round because summer nature is too good to miss...none of us want to pause our nature interests.  

So few pictures, but we have pages upon pages of nature journal entries from our time at camp. I love my little naturalists and am thankful I get to spend time being their nature guide. (And psst....I am getting very excited because this fall I am starting a new nature homeschooling co-op with friends, doing what we love with others, so blessed to have this opportunity!)

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