Carnival Time!
Friday Photos!

Field Day: The Early Summer Edition!

"Come forth into the light of things: let Nature be your teacher." ~ William Wordsworth

Welcome to the first edition of Field Day, a brand new blog "carnival" of nature study! :)

Whatever the weather is outside your window - stormy or calm - please join us! Our Field Day is weatherproof! The breeze is soft, the sun is warm and the world is alive with the wonders of nature. There's so much to see and enjoy ...

So grab the sketchbooks and field guides! Round up the colored pencils, and don't forget the magnifying glass! Roll up the blanket, and hey, where's the camera? Oh, here it is under my hat! Are we all set then? We'd better get started - we have 18 stops to make on our journey!

As the morning sun rises, we'll head to Theresa's Lapaz Farm where there's always something exciting to learn. Today Theresa will tell us about Rhythm and Nature - the beautiful heart of her family's homeschool. We must remember to stop back later, for an intriguing nature activity she has planned after dark!

Next we'll stop by Anne-Marie's Readable Feast to see pictures from a day spent in the Rockies - fishing clear waters and watching the clouds. Before we go, I want to be sure to take a peek in her nature library - her titles are ones I'd treasure on my bookshelf!

As the sun climbs the sky, our journey will take us to Florida, where Joanne is preparing a perfect habitat for butterflies. Let's remember to comment on her family's clever idea for recycling last year's Christmas tree! I love it - as I'm sure do the birds. :)

Now we'll embark on a trail of another kind - all the way to Elizabeth's where the blossoms and bees are a marvel to see. Take out your magnifying glasses my friends, we're in for a treat - a whole mess of ants have invaded her yard and oh, the nature study that has come of it! Wonderful!

Now we've come quite far, so why don't we stop for a small snack? Please pass me a trail bar and take a look at these great photos my friend Beth sent me recently:


I've seen gray, black and red, but never a white squirrel!


How I'd love to get this close to a baby woodchuck!

Well, the day's flying by, so onward we go!

Our next stop is at Donna Marie's lovely Garden of Lilies and Roses. I love dropping by Donna's, and I especially love hearing her thoughts on nature study: "Learning how to form the habit to study nature is to make a deliberate attempt to know and appreciate the Creator." Well said, Donna. :)

O.K. folks, grab the field guides! We're heading over to the Bonny Glen where Lissa has spotted a raptor in action! It's the circle of life in all its brutal glory, but the i.d. of the bird is up for debate. (Our guess? A Sharp-Shinned Hawk.)

Now, who has the compass? We're turning south again, for Wisteria's Spring Nature Study tips and resource suggestions. I especially love her advice to "look, listen and enjoy" nature with our children. Really, what more do we need?

Before we move on, we're in for a treat - Erica has joined us and she has a photo to share! Last summer her family spent a few memorable weeks driving through California. "One nature standout," says Erica "was our drizzly day driving and walking through The Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The coast redwood trees in the ancient, or old growth, forest are the tallest trees in the world." This picture is worth at least a thousand words!


Now, what heralds the spring more than a beautiful baby bird, just out of the nest, all wide-eyed with wonder? Well, let's visit Jill and her kids, who recently had one of their very own to observe. Until, that is, they discovered the true Nature of Mama Bird!

And for another robin experience, let's head over to a favorite nature spot of mine - Alice's Cottage Garden. Alice and her children have been witness to what can only be described as a most violent display of avian instinct. It truly must be seen to be believed (and fortunately Alice caught it all on tape)! And please do not miss young Agnes's delightful poem - inspired by Emily Dickinson, and the robin's crazy antics!

Break out the compass again, we're heading northwest to Mountaintop Farms! Michelle will show us a funny plant and tell us a funny tale. We might take a turn on the hemlock swing and perhaps snack on some of those peas - delicious!

Our path continues northward, to Jo's Tricotomania, where we'll see her beautiful photos from The Upper Canada Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Nevermind the birds - and you know I love birds - wait till you see the wildflowers, the lichen, the frog and more ...

In keeping with the northern spirit, let's cool off for a while in New England where the summers are hot and the winters wicked. Susan and family of Chicken Spaghetti are making the best of a blizzard with hot chocolate and that perennial favorite, Snowflake Bentley. Sounds good to me!

Whew! So much for the cold and the snow, that midday sun is really bearing down on us! Let's pause for a sip of water and a look at my friend Wendy's neat photo:


This Snapping Turtle makes an annual return to lay eggs in their yard!

Now let's head over to Helen's beautiful Castle of the Immaculate. I turn to Helen quite often for her wisdom and grace, so I was eager to hear her thoughts on nature study; I was not disappointed. How could I be, when everything she says comes right from her heart, and her deep faith and love for God? I'm excited to hear more about her plans!

Angela will welcome us into the great outdoors where her family has found plenty to do - befriending a large black crow and discovering raptor pellets. (Maybe we should take a sample back to Lissa for comparison?) Before we go, let's talk about wild things like herbs, and maybe help with the canning ...

A final rest stop is in order, and I have one more photo to share. This one was taken by my brother:


This big beautiful deer appeared one evening in our parents' backyard.

Now, I'll let you all go on ahead to Rebecca's. No, no. Don't worry, I'll catch up. Rebecca's a dear, but her subject today is not one of my favorites - for when it comes to spiders, I'm with Miss Muffet. And although Rebecca identified the offending creature, little Miss Mary Kathryn was not comforted. To heal the emotional wounds they've been doing what else? - lots of nature study!

Now it's just a hop, skip and a jump over to Tracy's Organic Learning. I'm eager to hear all about her family's recent visit to a beautiful park, when they ended up following a different path. The day didn't go as Tracy planned, but their experience in nature demonstrated amazing grace and power all the same.

The sun is slowly sinking, but there's another lovely garden we should visit. Alice's spot might be new, but there are already lots of things to see in The Lord's Garden - a nature hunt, birds at the feeders, and a study of herbs! Maybe we'll go home with a jar of Alice's homemade sauce!

We've now come quite far a field, but let's make one last stop in at Trinity Prep School where Maureen has sent her children out into the yard with a camera. Let's see what piques their interest, and sharpen our observation skills alongside them.

Time to pack up and head for home, but before we part ways, please let me express my sincere gratitude to all who contributed to my first edition of Field Day! Special thanks go as well to my blogging friends (some old, some new!) who promoted my idea at their blogs.

I hope you enjoyed our day in the field! And until we meet again, let us consider one final thought:

"When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world." ~ John Muir

Thanks for stopping by!