Monday, October 6, 2014

Gobble, Gooble-----Turkeys in the Backyard

Turkeys have made an amazing comeback here in Rhode Island since D.E.M. released the first 29 birds in Exeter back in 1980. There is now a substantial population that can be seen in backyards, along highways (be careful) and in the fields and pastures. They are  drawn to backyard bird feeders and tall grasses. Last spring there was a tom gobbling in my backyard every morning trying to find a mate. They are so cool to watch. Be aware that they are very shy and have wonderful vision so, they can startle easily.  This is a photo of a hen with her juveniles. It is delightful when they drop one of their strong and beautiful feathers. It is a true gift from nature.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Backyard Explorer's Club--Building Birdhouses

A child uses a hammer and nails to build her birdhouse. These tools and others were needed to construct our project. The birdhouses were made of wood that was precut with dimensions and holes that would appeal to small birds we spotted on our birdwalks. A very dear friend precut and drilled the wood, donated the tools, and organized them in individual packages. This kept things extremely organized and held the children responsible for keeping their materials together.

There were two afterschool Backyard Explorer's Clubs,each with eight children. This is Thursday's members. The children worked in pairs to construct, paint and find a location to hang their birdhouses. During this project, the children worked in pairs to create these fantastic looking birdhouses. We were hoping to attract smaller birds that we saw at the feeders and in the woods. House Wrens, Carolina Wrens and Chickadees will build their nests in a birdhouse. The Chickadee and Wrens are the most likely to use our houses.

Excellent work, Nature Explorers!

The children are assisted by Haley, a college student majoring in Environmental Science and Early Childhood Education, who voluneered her time to help out. The children decided on this lovely tree in the woods to hang their very colorful box and Haley hung it for them.

Excellent job Backyard Explorer's for helping out our feathered friends!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Children Thrive in Nature

Children need consistent opportunities to explore in the woods. It helps children make sense of their world. They have time to discover new creatures, question, problem-solve, stumble upon unknown objects, look for interesting sticks and trees to climb(that would have been me), discover nests, fungi, moss, climb on rocks and build their knowledge and appreciation toward nature.

On their hike they found "a woodpecker's nest" and wanted me to see it! Excellent exploring, guys! I wonder what lived in it. A good sized woodpecker, I think!

The two brothers take a well-deserved break from their hike. This rock looks like the perfect place too. "Hey, Did you see any chipmunks?"
Children need opportunities like this to relax, contemplate their ideas and to absorb the beauty that surrounds them. Thank you to my former student and his family for sharing these delightful photos. It looks like you had so much fun, OUTSIDE! Take it from this family and get outside with your family and love, learn and explore together.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Happy Birthday, Nature Goddess

On the morning of my birthday, my daughter and I went for a beach walk on Narragansett Beach. As we strolled along looking for heart stones, we discovered a beautiful female Cercropia Moth floating in the ocean. She was covered with sand and almost dead. I carefully scooped her up and put her on my daughter's shirt. As we walked along Sandy's,(as we quickly named her) wings started to dry off and she began flapping them. As things slowly began to improve, you can't imagine what started to happen. Well... ... ...she began laying her eggs on my daughter's shirt. This is the beginning of a very cool story so...stay tuned.