Enjoying Fall

It’s hard to believe November is here and gone already!  Wait, where did September and October go? Usually our September is filled with all things Monarch butterflies. Sadly, not this year. Although we went out looking three or four times, we caught and tagged only three females for Monarch Watch.  Either we weren’t out there when they were or it was just a bum year.  We didn’t even get any caterpillars on our butterfly bushes where normally we have so many that they eat the bushes down to nothing. We had big plans of bringing some inside, seeing them form a chrysalis, tagging them and then letting them go.  The only highlight for us was taking some young friends out for their first Monarch hunt.

I wasn’t even going to write about it because it was so depressing for us, but then I got to thinking that this is what nature study is all about!  We are blessed to observe the seasons, life cycles, and changes of creation every day be they good or not as good. That’s real science.

We have had the privilege of having our good friends join us for school for the past few weeks while their mom and house becomes accustomed to twin newborns!  It has been wonderful to learn together. Although we have not been going on very many nature adventures this year compared to years past, we have enjoyed catching a little bit of nature time each week. Trees were the focus of our October nature study lessons. We have been measuring trees, naming trees, reading about trees, and enjoying the beautiful colors in our back yard.  We even tried a variation on leaf rubbing by placing our leaves on top of the paper and then coloring around them to see the negative space left behind

As we become more familiar with birds through nature study, we have come to love them more and more.  We found a line of Audubon plush toy birds that make sounds like the actual birds. They  have become wonderful friends! Feeling crafty one day, we decided to make these adorable owls out of toilet paper tubes and cupcake liners! The idea came from Family Fun magazine.

Finally, acrostic, shape, and haiku poems about trees were the culmination of our focus on trees!

Various trees fruit in the fall.
Every tree has leaves.
Red is a bright color in the fall.
Maples make sap which turns into syrup.
On pancakes and waffles we use syrup.
Nice big trees are good for shade, forts and food.
Trees are made by God.

Broadleaf trees have big leaves. They lose their leaves in the fall. Let’s play in the leaves.
(around the maple leaf shape)

Trees are colorful
Beautiful leaves are awesome
Leaves fall gently down

Trees are beautiful.
Broadleaf trees lose their good leaves.
Conifers give cones.

Trees are colorful
Climbing trees is so much fun
So thankful for trees