Observing Nature

Dh was out in the front yard this morning when he heard what he called “a propeller driven bomber” fly past his ear. He then noted this guy doing some bee grocery shopping and ran inside to grab his camera:

bumblee bee in a flower

Bumble bee loaded with pollen

The next picture is my favorite. Look at how the edges of the wings are slightly torn. Check out all that pollen! I think the pollen from these flowers is just begging to be looked at under our microscope.

Bee covered in pollen

This pic is out of focus, but I like it too. The bee’s little feet are totally covered in pollen. It looks like he has fuzzy boots on.

bee covered in pollen flying away

We took the boys to the wildlife refuge again recently. Here are some pictures of our adventure there:

I think this may be a racoon print. You can see the little pieces of fur inside the print. There were tons of tracks criss-crossing the dry creek/canal bed. It looked like the animals were going after the fish stranded in the shallow puddles and all of the stranded and dead crawfish. The fish that were left were amazing to watch. They were JUMPING partly out of the water to get the tons of mosquitoes floating above the surface of the water. We stopped and watched them for awhile (from the mosquito-proof safety of the car, LOL).

This tree that looks like it was in a snow storm is covered in white seed “fluff”.

Tree covered in seed fluff

We almost always see pheasants running around at the refuge. It’s very hard to get a picture of one because, despite the bright coloring, they have an amazing knack at getting “lost” in the ground cover very quickly. They are also very shy and skittish.

This time though we saw quite a few of them and even were treated to hearing one of them call.

The last thing we saw before leaving was this hawk. He was sitting on a fence pole and then flew off shrieking. Click here for a page of animal sounds. If you scroll down to the one for a hawk – that is just what he sounded like.

Hawk screeching

I’m going to start up a nature study with the kids using this site. Barb has created challenges with suggested activities with free nature journal notebook pages. What a wonderful resource! There is plenty of inspiration from other families who’ve completed the challenges and blogged about it.

I think it’s so important for kids to spend time outside. It’s also important to take some time to notice the details of the world around us.