Monday, August 30, 2010

Nature Study

     Nature study is Anna's favorite subject in school, and I enjoy it a lot too. I started having Anna keep a nature journal last spring, and I started one too, so that she would have an example of what we were doing. Although I don't make entries as often as she does, I've had fun with it. Keeping a nature journal has really sparked Anna's interest in the natural world, because she is always on the look out for something to draw. An odd spider that she might have not noticed (or been freaked out by) before, is now a potential item to draw, so she stops and takes note.
     We don't do a nature study on every thing that is recored in her journal, but I am always on the look out for anything that would be good to do a nature study on. The wasp nest below is an example. I found it in our shed, and after making sure it was abandoned, I carefully removed it and brought it inside for our study.  I used Anna Botsford Cromstock's "A Handbook of Nature Study" to help us find out all sorts of interesting information on wasps, and then we peeled apart the nest to find the catacombs inside. She glued some of the lovely paper to her journal.  I love the swirly patterens the wasps make.

Dragonflies- Before we found out their name, Anna called them "cow dragonflies"
     Here is an example of how Anna and I record the same thing in our journals.  Black swallowtail catapillars eat parsley, so we have lots of them around here.  I always grow extra for the catapillars. :) 
Black swallowtail butterfly in it's various stages 
A black Swallowtail caterpillar from my nature journal

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