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.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Summer Solstice

Nature Goddess and her daughter celebrated the Summer Solstice by creating wreaths from flowers blooming in the garden, arranged the fairy furniture, put out food (alpine strawberries, acorn caps filled with sugar water and currants) for the fairies to enjoy, danced until the moon and stars appeared. Then we caught fireflies, listened for Screech Owls and watched the bats do their thing. Let our backyard summer adventures begin...what joy!!!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Snapping Turtles at Trustom Pond, Charlestown, RI

What Spring Holds in Store for Us!

Last fall my brother, Tucker (directly behind me in the Fedora hat), better known as, Birdman in Bridgewater, organized a bird walk at Charlestown Breachway and Trustom Pond. Individuals from all over the Northeast and Long Island joined us. I was the only Rhode Islander involved. It was a fairly sophisticated group of birders. We had a wonderful time birding and seeing some life timers and it was so much fun. However, one of the most interesting things that happened that day was a sighting of an enormous snapping turtle submerged in the pond, near the Osprey lookout. At the time, we were unable to identify what it was eating but easily realized something quite large. Anyway the next day I went out to Trustom Pond and I found it sunning itself on a rock way out in the pond. Probably trying to digest the meal from the day before. The post above this one shows the Snapping Turtle resting on the rock. It was huge!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Osprey Sighting at Zeek's Creek in Jamestown, RI

The Osprey is back! One of the first migratory birds has arrived and looking quite comfortable perched on the top of the nesting site near Zeek's Creek. A quick shot on my way to school. Next time I hope I am able to capture a better shot that is a little clearer. Nevertheless , a sure sign of spring!