Grasses Week ~ Exploring Nature With Children

 

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This week is Grasses Week in Exploring Nature With Children. We set out nice and early with a mind to explore our local grasses. However we found heaps of Dandelions! We both adore Dandelions, and wanted to sketch them instead.

Look at this beauty!

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We found a smashing website that has amazing, magnified photography of Dandelions. Do take a look.

(Images from http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk taken by Brian Johnston)

We sketched in our journals; Rose included a near-by seed head, as well as a flower and leaf.

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I sketched the flower and leaf, then added some notes and poetry. Did you know that Dandelions get their name from the French, ‘dent de lion’ (lion’s tooth?)

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The Dandelion’s pallid tube
Astonishes the Grass,
And Winter instantly becomes
An infinite Alas-

The tube uplifts a signal Bud
And then a shouting Flower,-
The Proclamation of the Suns
That sepulture is o’er.

Emily Dickinson

What did you find on your walk this week?

Happy exploring!

Calendar of Firsts 18 ~24 April 2016

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My Calendar of Firsts for this week:

  • Lots of tadpoles in the garden. We had friends come over this week to collect some for their own garden 🙂
  • Rosie’s Horse Chestnut is thriving! Last autumn, Rose planted a conker in a pot. It survived the severe storms we had, despite being blown out of it’s pot and is as strong and healthy as can be.
  • Gorse (although this one is cheating, as there is always gorse, but it is one of my favourite flowers and I even wear gorse perfume.)
  • The ‘Milk Moon’ on Friday was just breathtaking. A huge, golden sphere, hanging heavy in the sky, it lit up all the surrounding clouds with its pale light.
  • In other, exciting news, my parents have a duck nesting under the shrubs in their garden! She has feathered her nest, laid eggs, and is sitting very quietly. Watch this space!

Nature Pen Friends ~ Update

 

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A update for everyone taking part in the Nature Pen Friends Swap; I have paired everyone up and you should have received an email with the details of your swap partner. Please contact them ASAP to let them know that you have their details & will be posting to them 🙂

I have done my best to accommodate everyone’s wishes, per the swap, but I had to prioritise families who needed to post domestically over families who would have liked to post internationally, so that everyone was able to take part.  Thank you for your understanding.
 
IF SOMETHING HAPPENS TO PREVENT YOU FROM TAKING PART (yes, life happens!) PLEASE LET ME KNOW ASAP, SO I CAN MAKE ALTERNATIVE ARRANGEMENTS. Please take a moment to consider how your child would feel if they did not receive a parcel.
 

Please begin to collect nature treasures from your special nature spot. Label them if possible, and pack them safe and well in sturdy packaging.

You will need to send a minimum of six items.

PLEASE TAKE TIME TO FIND OUT WHAT YOU ARE ABLE TO POST TO YOUR NATURE PEN FRIEND. MOST COUNTRIES HAVE VERY STRICT GUIDELINES ON WHAT CAN GO IN AND OUT VIA THE POSTAL SERVICE. 

**THIS IS YOUR OWN RESPONSIBILITY**

Once your items are safely packaged, post them to your Nature Pen Friend.

**THE LAST DATE FOR POSTING IS 21st MAY**

PLEASE CONTACT YOUR FAMILY TO LET THEM KNOW THAT YOUR PARCEL IS ON IT’S WAY.

Once your parcel arrives, please contact the family that sent to you, to let them know.

If you have a blog, or are active on social media, please blog about your nature pen friends package, and share on the Exploring Nature With Children FaceBook page.

Thank you again for taking part, please feel free to email me at lynnseddonhs at gmail dot com with any questions.

 

Happy exploring!

 

Bits And Pieces

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There are only a couple of days left ’till sign ups for the Nature Pen Friends close, so please do get in touch soon if you would like to participate. Information is here.

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It has been a while since I did a weekly round up, and while this post isn’t exactly that, it gives you a bit of an idea what we have been up to.

We are really excited to be involved with Rocket Science, an ‘out of this world’ educational project, run by The RHS Campaign for School Gardening and The UK Space Agency .

Back in May 2015, Two kilograms of rocket seeds took off from Florida bound for the International Space Station as part of British ESA astronaut Tim Peake’s six-month Principia mission.

After several months on board, the seeds were sent back and landed in the Pacific Ocean in the spring of 2016. After they returned to the UK, they were packaged up with identical seeds that had stayed on earth. Schools (and home educators!) were invited to take part, and participants each received two packets of 100 seeds to grow and compare.

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We planted our seeds with friends who are helping us with the project. I shall keep you posted on the developments!

We also had heaps of fun investigating Barn Owl pellets this week!

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Big girl took a break from exam revision to join us as we carefully excavated the pellets to find what the owl had eaten.

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This was utterly fascinating, and we found the remains of several small mammals and birds. Here are just a few of the bones we found.

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This week was also my birthday, so I did some celebratory dyeing and dyed up some sock yarn, inspired by the colours of the bluebells that are beginning to bloom.

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I received some books for my birthday that I am really looking forward to getting stuck into; Creating Textured Landscapes, and Drawing and Painting Trees in the Landscape, both by Claudia Nice. Her art work is beautiful and inspiring, so I am hoping to learn a lot from working through the books at my own pace.

Speaking of books, we have some great ones on the go; Elianna is reading Never Give In, The Extraordinary Character Of Winston Churchill, Rose is reading Woof! by Allen Ahlberg, and together we are reading My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrel, which is hilarious (though, be warned, it does contain swearing.)

Rose has been very busy in the garden, rescuing tired bees and even a wasp, tending and observing the tadpoles, and chasing our cat when he unfortunately caught a baby bird. She is making the most of the burst of fine weather we are having at the moment; getting her schoolwork finished as early as possible, and heading barefoot into the garden. Which is where she would much rather be.