Winter is a great time for studying erosion because so much of the landscape is bare and easy to observe. The season is making her mark on several places as rain, snow and ice fall and don’t have to contend with foliage as a protector of land and rocks.
My children and I enjoyed a much anticipated warmer weather walk yesterday with our eyes open for signs of erosion. Here are some of the things we found.
A broken rock that none of us remember being broken before winter.
Unprotected soil on a slope that has washed away to reveal underground rock.
Trees near the creek with their roots exposed due to the water washing the soil away around them.
A hole in this rock shows where an almost constant force of water has been beating down on this particular spot from the ledge above.
This picture shows grass and other plants laid down after a heavy rain when the creek was flowing fast and hard. The grass isn't a sign of erosion, but I included this picture to demonstrate the force of the water which carries soil, rocks and other debris down the creek.
These are several pebbles at the bottom of the creek. Over time, jagged rocks are worn down to smooth pebbles from the agitation of the water and the rocks bumping against one another/things in the creek.
In our Everchanging Erosion study, we’ve included a scavenger hunt that can help your children located signs of erosion. We’ve also included a fun candy experiment to demonstrate the process of a rock turning into a pebble, how to compare land after a flood, an experiment to determine how ice and other weather can break a rock and so much more! I’ve only mentioned a few of the activities that happen to go along with the photographs I was able to take yesterday. Believe it or not, there’s TONS to do concerning the study of erosion and weathering.
This is a reprint of an article I wrote for the CHEK newsletter. Enjoy the article and the free notebooking page!
Signs of spring are in the air! You don’t believe me? Go look. Many of our bird friends are just beginning to find their way back to their familiar homes here in KY. The tiniest of crocuses are pushing through the cold soil, and in some places snow, to bring us the first bits of hope that more flowers will soon follow. Trees are preparing their early buds and new growth can be found on the ends of several branches.
March is a great time of the year for woodland nature walks. You can easily see new growth and new life since the foliage is not around yet to block out the sun or cover up wonderful treasures. Look for early flowers, ferns, mosses, fungi, lichen, birds, nests and burrows. Since most animals are now waking from their winter slumber, animal tracks will be easy to find, especially in a dusting of snow or wet soil.
Most of the list above can be found in a short walk around your yard or neighborhood, too. But I encourage you to take the time to find a nature trail in your area to strengthen your spirit with new scenery and fresh, brisk air.
In your own backyard, take the time to prepare a large or small garden. March isn’t too early for planting such crops as peas, potatoes, greens and radishes. A garden is a wonderful tool for nature study and reaps very yummy rewards to boot!
For those of you who enjoy notebooking or keeping a nature journal, I’ve made a notebooking page called “Early Spring Beauty” that you can use on a nature walk this month. You can find it at our HS Launch page.
May God bless your nature walks with more beauty than you can imagine!
Spring is the perfect time to find an abundance of fungi because of the cooler temperatures and frequency of damp days. And now that A Fungus Among Us has been re-released with an additional 20 pages of ideas and notebooking reproducibles, it’s the perfect time for studying fungi!
Here’s a glimpse into one of our latest nature walks through a wooded area on our farm. Never fear if you don’t have a farm close by! Fungi can be found virtually anywhere, but they’re especially easy to find as you hike on nature trails, walk through the wooded area of a park, scan mulch in your yard after a rain, or take a walk around your neighborhood keeping your eyes open for trees that aren’t in the best of health.
Unfortunately, the mycelium of any fungi found on a tree grow into the tree and compromise the its health. You can assume the tree is not in perfect health when you find a fungus on it.
Spring is a great time of the year for finding animal signs! Animals are no longer hibernating and many have migrated back “home” for the seasons ahead. At the same time, there isn’t much foliage to hide tracks, scat, burrows and such. Below are some of the fun finds we found on a recent nature walk.
A perfect little entrance to a cozy home in this hollowed out tree. It almost made me feel like I was at the doorstep of Peter Rabbit's home.
Like the picture above, you can see debris at the opening where the animal has cleaned out his or her hideaway.
An over-wintering cocoon will break forth with new moth life soon!
Hey, this bird stole our orange baling twine!
If you look directly at the middle of the photograph, you'll see a whitish oval creature with lots of legs crawling on the bottom of a shallow creek. I don't know what this is yet. Any insight would be gladly welcomed!
Again in the center of the photograph, you'll see a snail's shell resting on the bottom of the creek.
Spring is such a fun time for an animal sign hunt! Don’t forget you can find tons of ideas to guide your study in our Animal Signs NaturExplorers unit!
Spring: An Alphabet Acrostic by Steven Schnur is another lovely find for our Book Buzz – especially if you’re hoping to inspire your NaturExplorer to write more poetry in his or her nature journal!
For every letter of the alphabet, there is an acrostic poem written on the topic of spring. Not all of the poems are nature related, but many are. If your children are like mine, acrostic poems often turn into “one worders” for each main letter of the acrostic. These are wonderful examples of how to expand the acrostic to be much more!
Nestled under the
Song-filled ark of
Twigs and grass.
Ah, the simple beauty that can be shared through a poem! This book is appropriate to read with any child, but those who are 2nd grade and above are most suited for transferring the poetry style to their nature notebooks.
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