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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Monday's Nature Walk

We went to Skidaway Island State Park yesterday and there are two story lines to this tale. One, we were going to meet another homeschooler and her child and two, I wanted to check out Skidaway because of the Sensory Hikes they have on Fridays from 8-9pm and because I haven't been there.

The hsler we were to meet got lost on the way there so after waiting 45 minutes, we started the trail. Of course, I didn't have her cell number with me and I neglected to give her mine and yada, yada, yada. I'm finding out that I'm pretty horrible at making new friends! Anyways, we walked the trail and as we were ending our walk, we met up with her and her adorable 5yo girl and decided to go to the playground to let the kids play. That is the short version of the day, here's the more detailed version with pictures...

I just want to say that all these pictures that I've been posting may make walking trails look easy and fun. It's not all the time but it is worth trekking through heat and sweating a good clean sweat to see your kids being observant and curious. When I suspect a trail is long, I carry a backpack with insulated water bottles, first-aid kit, binoculars, magnifying glass, bug spray, sunscreen and our nature journals with pencils. Carrying a backpack is no fun but with younger kids, I don't wish to take any unnecessary risks.

On the Skidaway State Park Sandpiper Nature Trail there were signs that provided a key to identifying animal tracks, on the sign was opossum, squirrel, bobcat, deer, and raccoon examples. Camille took to this immediately and all through the trail was looking for tracks. I need to make sure we carry our book, Animal Tracks of Florida, Georgia and Alabama with us when we venture out.


Camille is pointing at white-tailed deer tracks.

When we study Botany later this year, I plan to use Botany in a Day for myself because I enjoy learning about different plants I see while we're out walking. My nursery specialist mother would be pleased. I suspect this is from the Aster family. I can't decide if I just need to learn more about identification or if I need a better field guide for flora and fauna.

A feather we saw on the trail, we just looked at it. I'm always a bit worried about picking up stuff.

These tracks could be opossum tracks but I suspect they are armadillo tracks based on our book.

This is why a Saw Palmetto is called a 'saw' palmetto, at the base of the palm leaves they have a saw toothed edge.


Hi, Mr. Skink, I see you!


Camille has a vivid interest in holey trees. I'm keeping this in mind for our botany studies later and I'm glad we'll be studying botany from April to August of 2009, plenty of time to explore different concepts.

I can't help but take pictures of the scenery.


This track confused us, and still does. Either it is a double print of a white-tailed deer or it is a track of a feral pig. It could be a double register (I'm learning!) We're still unsure but we're looking it up in our books.


Another deer track.

Ending our day at the playground with another homeschooler & her daughter (not pictured).

 

5 comments:

School for Us said...

What a great nature walk. I've missed going on our regular walks, though we do a lot around our backyard. We were planning our first big one for this Friday, but Hurricane Ike has scared us away... we'll try again next week!

Renay said...

How fun is that! Love the pictures. Looks like a lot of learning took place on your walk. Wish I could have joined you! :) Renay

Michele said...

Great pictures! What great opportunities for your kids.

Michele

Rhonda said...

That is the kind of day that we love! Looks like you had a wonderful time.

Evelyn said...

Going on a nature walk is a great way for children to discover their animal neighbors. After coming back from a walk I like to help beginning readers to write stories about their adventures. The books can then be illustrated by asking your child to draw a picture of the animal that made the track. Later you could make potato prints of the animal's tracks and then stamp the tracks all around the border.