We have had a splendid week of interesting Science experiences.
Last week we had so much fun exploring the creek bed the girls wanted to do it again. I didn’t mind, but didn’t want to do the same area as last week. So away we go…we get there, climb into the bed, and during our first nature study attempt, catastrophe struck! JitterBug went dancing across the rocks to the dry area. I asked HorseyBug to help me get BittyBug and JuneBug across the water. Poor thing! Just as she picked up BittyBug, she slipped and dropped her. BittyBug hit her back and bum on a rock, then smacked her head backwards into another rock. Poor HorseyBug continued to fall and landed on two other rocks trying to not kill BittyBug, although she knocked her back in the water. It happened in seconds and I started scrambling over the rocks to get to BittyBug, not realizing that HorseyBug had hit the other two rocks. JitterBug heard the noise and came running back. She was trying to get BittyBug and slipped in the water and sprained her wrist and scratched her knee. She hollered “Oh for Pete’s sake” as she got up and grabbed BittyBug (who was dripping wet) and took her to the creek bank. Poor kiddos looked so bedraggled and wet. We walked to the car and came the one block home – yes, I drive. We wear the little ones out when we go and I can’t cross a major busy street with them hanging on me and dragging their feet. So our first nature walk lasted about 10 minutes total. (It had to have looked hilarious, but I still can’t laugh without insulting the girls completely – they don’t know I am writing about it and so I can let go of my pent up laughter safely now!)
On a more serious note, HorseyBug really did sacrifice herself to save BittyBug. She scraped up her chest and ribs, and has a huge hard knot on her shin. She was so upset, but when I tried to comfort her, she was adamant that she was FINE (although she was limping) – she was just really upset that we didn’t get to do nature study – her favorite subject! I was worried about them losing interest in Nature Study (JuneBug has been terribly reluctant to even go on a nature walk) so decided we better go right back out – but I didn’t want to go anywhere they want to crawl in the water bed.
So for our second attempt at Nature Study for the day we put the other subjects aside for the rest of the afternoon and drove to a nearby park with a spring. It is a wonderful spring that was used in the 1800’s for an iron mill and the ruins are still there. They have so many things to do there. The museum was open so we spent some learning time in there – the kids touching table had a deer tail on it. BittyBug put it on her bum, put the antler on her head (backwards) and told me she was Bambi! We spent quite a bit of time in the natural habitat section with the littles, finding all the creatures hidden in each exhibit. I spent some money and got some interesting new science and nature study books – both for reference and reading aloud.
We like to walk around the spring and see the wildlife – from spiders, to insects, frogs, snakes, fish, muskrats, squirrels, birds, etc… As we walked the path and hunted for “nature’ 😉 we discovered a dead muskrat, so reported that. Then we walked the other side of the spring and fed the fish by the spring. All of a sudden a chipmunk came running out eating the fish food. He was so cute and fearless – he ran right into the hand of a lady who put her hand out full of fish food.
He was a huge hit with the kiddos. As we finished the walk, JitterBug found a crawdad shell in the fish hatchery beds that was full of rainbow trout. Then we played on the playground for a bit.
As we left, we looked over on the fishing side of the creek and lo and behold – there was a muskrat playing in the rocks on the side of the river. We watched him play, get in the water and swim down the river a couple of feet and come back out. How fun is that??
On Friday evening we visited a Conservation Center and Park for our third nature walk. We hiked two of the smaller trails and found 3 little bullfrogs in the pond they built to show you how to do it in your own yard.
My dream is to create several different types of habitats in my backyard. I have some perfect spots for them!
Here are the Nature Journal entries for this week (click on the picture for a better view):