Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Nature & Perspective

There are little things that make me feel so unbelievably blessed - like having a job that allows me to  spend on a field trip with Josie and having a school that creates amazing opportunities for children to thrive in a peaceful community that supports curiosity and encourages purposeful appreciation of the natural world.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to accompany the K-3 montessori students at Josie's school on a field trip to the Ferbach-Werner Nature Preserve. Admittedly, we frequent several of the Hamilton County parks but didn't know this gem existed! We'll definitely be back.

It was a great morning of petting snakes and toads, learning to listen and to observe, skipping down forest paths holding hands with friends, bouncing up and down on a first school bus ride, sharing a picnic lunch with a carrot "cheers," and being happy to be together. We also learned a thing or two that will prove useful in this wild yard of ours - like how to identify non-stinging carpenter bees and poison ivy.  (I also had a big moment of realization on this special morning that Josie is definitely more grades 1-3 than she is pre-K. This was a bittersweet epiphany that she's really growing up.)

Together, these six smiling faces make up Josie's kindergarten class.

What a beautiful day! (This tree reminds me of a certain tattoo.)

Did you know male carpenter bees can't sting or bite? You can identify them by the yellow head - but boy do they buzz like crazy!

On my walk home I came across this long path of fluffy stuff from the trees that hang over our street. It looked like little snowflakes blowing all around. Isn't nature amazing?

The fact that I spent this day with Josie yesterday appreciating the wonder and beauty of nature while Oklahoma was being devastated by her brute force is an interesting contradiction.  It also made for a powerful perspective. I know I'm not the only one hugging my kids a little tighter today and appreciating the little things a whole lot more. 

Butterfly Birthday

Back in March, Beatrice got a wonderful birthday present from special friends - an insectlore butterfly kit - the exact same kind I used every year with my second graders back in my classroom teaching days.  It was SO FUN sharing this wonder with my own children. Watching the process in a classroom is fun, but having butterfly pets at home is really special. We spent lots of time over the three week process observing and staring in awe. 

It wasn't long until our caterpillars were HUGE. 

We watched each one crawl to the top and form a chrysalis.  And it wasn't long until our five painted ladies emerged! After three days eating oranges and drops of sugar water from flower petals we added to their habitat, it was time to set them free on a sunny Sunday afternoon. We have a feeling they're pretty happy on our lovely lane. 

Here's the link to purchase the kit on Amazon Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden! ENJOY!!