Hi Everyone! This month I have a challenge to take on. Using a set of books called Outdoor School (pictured below), my family have attempted these challenges. I loved reading Animal Watching. Each chapter has a couple of pages of info, such as becoming an active observer, scouting for wildlife, how to be a birder, spot birds by silhouette & shape, etc. After the quick easy and interesting informative read, there’s a page or two that teaches you how to apply what you learned in the real world which is labeled Try It. Then there’s the Track It page “where you can answer specific questions, write down details, and record the critters you’ve spotted.” There are areas where you can write down date of activities and check mark that you did it. This interactive learning gives kids the chance to stay alert because they are expected to do what they just read! There are 5 parts to this book: what is animal watching, birds, mammals, amphibians & reptiles, and fish. I like that there are different pages dedicated to different animals so readers can take notes when they spot them in the wild.
Each book is 448 pages long. I was planning to do a few chapters from each book one week at a time but plans and reality don’t work out well. (Somehow I got Staph infection on my finger so I was hurting a lot and for weeks. It got better at first but then it got worse. I finally visited the doctor but they didn’t know what it was even with two sets of eyes (1 doc & 1 nurse practitioner) so I went into ER. Thank goodness the infection didn’t get into my bones yet. Sounds really scary. I’m now taking pills and recovering). So in this post, I will mainly focus on Animal Watching book because I’m currently reading it for the month of April. I will do separate posts for other books. My kids and I sit on our picnic blanket as many mornings as we can (rain) to watch for birds. I think my 20 months old daughter loves it a lot. From the book, I think the bird in the picture below is an American Robin. I loved learning a lot about birds. One thing I did remember seeing was the birds poking themselves into their tails but I didn’t know it’s part of preening/grooming.
My bird house in my backyard one time has 3 blue birds’ eggs! I didn’t look them up so I didn’t know which bird that was. The bush on my front yard once has a birds’ nest. There was a mom bird in it. I think she was expecting to give birth soon so I tried to stay away from that bush. But one day I went out and saw bird feathers everywhere by the bush as if there was an attack. I felt bad.
We took a walk and spotted 2 bird’s nest on one tall tree. See below.
Animals tracking! These squirrels really do make a lot of holes!
Animal Watching taught me about eyeshine. I just learned of the vocabulary. Definitely interesting to know the difference between tree squirrels and ground squirrels. I will look for them next time I go out for a walk! The terms page are helpful. The back of the book can act as a ruler which was awesome. This book is color-coded too so you can find your section quickly. Highly recommend this series to everyone!
Due to the challenge, I am attempting to check off as many on the Rewild Your Life list as I can. These rocks were collected by my son. I totally forgot to collect some for myself. But in my next post on that book, I will have more rocks to post.
Our family recently have had the opportunity to visit Callaway Gardens. We walked through the Azaleas trail and halfway through other trails I forgot to note the names. There were some small trails to the butterfly garden where they planted Hibiscus on both sides. I don’t have a picture of the trail because they were just sprouting leaves, no flowers yet.
The Hydrangeas tree reminded me of the bush I have in front of my house but didn’t know the name of it until now. I learned of the Petunias flower from my local plant nursery where I go to prepare a spring garden in my backyard.
We walked a lot at Callaway Gardens. We attended Birds of Prey show and learned about Falcon, Barn Owl (pictured below), and one other bird I forgot the name. The birds fly over the audience’s heads from the front to the back and again. It was fun. We were advised not to put our hands up over our heads because they will think it’s foods!
We have attempted on learning the directions by shadow using a compass. I haven’t read about shadow in the books yet so I don’t know how to tell the directions without a compass.
I used to love watching Nature on PBS when I was younger. But now there are just a lot to do. I will try to make time this weekend to sit down with my kids for a show.
See you on my next post!
(I need to grab some info from the publisher’s).