Nature Walks – June

“So come, get ready. Don’t delay! We’re on a nature trail today.”

-Maurice Pledger

A friend of mine who homeschooled her kids told me that after their daily lessons, she’d take the kids on nature walks, and I love that idea. It wouldn’t be a stretch for us to make it a habit, as we do all ready loosely do something of the sorts. Here are some fun things we have seen lately on the property.

 

Decorative caterpillarWe found this interesting caterpillar on a wild raspberry bush. I had originally guessed that the white things were the eggs of a parasitic wasp, but upon uploading the picture and seeing it on the computer, I can see that they are just part of the caterpillar’s fancy suit. Maybe they are meant to fool a parasitic wasp into thinking this caterpillar has all ready been parasitized? Or maybe they help it blend into a leaf that has caterpillar eggs all over it?

Next, we heard a buzzing coming from the door of the garage, and discovered this fly caught in a spider’s web. Elizabeth was enthralled, and we watched for quite a while as the fly struggled and the spider threw one line of silk after another over the insect. When we returned later, the fly was wrapped up. The following day, there were no signs of leftovers at all.

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Another day when I was reading stories to Elizabeth before her nap, she heard a bird call out her window and went to look out. She then called me over to see two “nest” right out side. Well they weren’t nests, they were two Northern Screech Owls eyeing the birds at our feeders! They were very relaxed, even when they noticed us in the window, I mean how could we be large predators way up in that tree that they hadn’t noticed before?

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This is how they looked a little bit later when I went outside to get a better look and some pictures. This time, I did seem like a predator, so they assumed the stiff, upright position that makes them look deceivingly like a piece of broken branch. I love how they squint their eyes!

Do you take your kids on nature walks? What are some interesting things you have seen together?

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