Thursday, December 13, 2012

I Spy Nature

I have always been fascinated by all the wonders in Nature.  On hikes or time spent at the park, the kids have always picked up and brought home little finds. It wasn't until this past summer that I actually made a spot on a little table in the corner of the dining room area for them to set them down and keep in one place. With our first summer here, and experiencing all kinds of new things out there, it was time to clear my counter and have a place to display where we can come back again and again to look at and inspect. So here is our collection that went into a temporary box for Christmas.
This has to be our coolest find.  We were at the park after co-op one day and one of the girls brings over this wasp nest the size of a volleyball.  She had no idea what it was and I was so excited because I couldn't believe it was intact.  It was funny because one of the boys said that he had seen it lying on the ground the week before but didn't think anything of it as they were playing "capture the flag".  It just amazes me that such a small insect can create something like this.  It barely weighs anything.

In September we discovered that the little garter snake that lives in our backyard shed his skin.  The skin was just lying in the grass next to the sliding door.  Really cool but really creepy.  To think that .....1. it is bigger! and 2. it did this right in our backyard next to the door! I don't really know if this is exciting or not.  I know they are harmless but it is still very creepy! You can even see where it's eyes were!  Uuugggh!
Kaleb came walking in one day with this dragon fly. In the upper corner is a wasp.  There is an abundance of wasp in this area.  We were constantly knocking down their nests.
I think Kaleb picked up this little piece of decaying wood when we were camping that has been bored by a beetle.  That has always amazed me what is left behind when the beetle dies or moves on.
Victoria and I covered Easter eggs with tissue paper,so no those aren't real. But the nest is.  It had been abandoned in the walnut tree next to where we gardened.  It was hanging out of the tree this past Fall.  It was amazing to observe the insects and birds while we were gardening this past summer.  The fluff in the upper right hand corner is as soft as silk and came out of a puff ball kind of seed pod that Daphne found on a hike.  She stuffed the fluff in her pocket.  We threw some up in the air and it tossed and twirled in the breeze. I can see how easily it would be to spread.  All part of God's design.
Kaleb found this grasshopper leg.  Have you ever really looked at one with a magnifying glass.  They really are pretty neat. Victoria had picked up the pinecone when it was still green and closed.  About two weeks later she noticed that it was starting to open.  So we got a chance to watch it continue to open. 
Kirk found this praying mantis case right next to a wasp nest.  I wonder what the planning was on that one.   I did make him reassure me that it was empty before he brought it into the house.  Another one of those really wierd things that is all part of God's design.  The brambles right next to it are awesome ammunition.  We found these on a hike and discovered how well they stick to clothing.  Of course Kirk and I can't quite win at wars anymore with the kids.  They are too quick and clever. Victoria was running along and had collected about ten of them on her shoelace.  She looked like she had a huge pom pom on her shoes like what we would do with our skates in the 70's.
Kaleb collected this seed pod when it was completely green and closed with soft spikies on it.  I think this is the very item that started the need for a place to observe it drying and opening.  The case is configured in three sections.  That is mathmatical, I know.  The Fabonnicci numbers or something like that.  I found him many times inspecting its progress.
So that is our Nature Table, along with heart shaped rocks, bark, lichen, moss, cattails, horsetails grass, fall leaves, and a bunch of other little trinkets from nature. It has been a great way to slow down and look around our environment and just take it in.  There are so many things in nature that we either don't take the time to see or just don't see it.  It makes hiking even more adventerous as we find and observe new things and experiences.

1 comment:

The Hillmans said...

Your nature table is beautiful! I love the snake skin, despite its creepiness.