As I read other blogs, especially a certain one set in Florida (here) and a couple in Australia (here and here), I often find myself wishing that I lived somewhere with breathtaking beauty. Then I realized I have to shift my thinking. I live in New England and we just finished up a hard New England-style winter. Connecticut in April/May is beautiful. Everything is coming to life. We get to experience the joy of rebirth every spring. I feel it is especially poignant given that it seems so late in arriving this year.....
Today to celebrate the glory of our surroundings, we took the girls on a botany-walk. I was chief photographer and they were supposed to point out anything they saw that related to anything that they have learned. Did you happen to notice that they are wearing rain boots? Who wears rain boots on a botany walk? Girls who are more interested in splashing in water than recalling botany facts on demand! Our walk was not for naught however. We found moss and lichen, trees and shrubs in the process of pollination. We discussed water pollination, wind pollination and how certain flowers are pointed downward and those are usually for moths to find at night. We talked about vascular and non-vascular plants. We saw a ginormous snapping turtle and gave it plenty of space (it escaped into deeper water so I was unable to “snap” a picture!).
The girls enjoyed exploring the water. Since this is a man-made pond created in the 1920s, and not made by nature there is not as much wildlife as they would find in the woods. That did not stop them from mucking about.
We did all this in an hour. Then the whole group traveled about a mile away to their pottery class. And guess what happened???? Their instructor thought it would be a great idea to go into her glorious garden and take clippings to roll into their clay! How cool is that! Talk about cross-curriculum! Art and science. Hand in hand. So Lilah took a bleeding heart and some leaves and pressed them into her clay. Grace was inspired to free draw a leaf in her clay. Looks like a fern to me!
What a glorious day to appreciate our life. We were keenly aware that most children can only glimpse the leaves and feel the warm air from their classrooms and 15 minutes of recess. We are free to explore, discover and wander about at our own pace, until we are content. And content we are!