For the Outdoor Hour Challenge #2, we studied birds at a local pond about
a 15 minute drive from our home.
When we arrived, the thermometer in the van read 96 degrees. Hot!
We saw an empty lower pond. Where were all the birds?
Seeking shade, apparently. There were a few ducks on the upper pond,
so we walked up there. We brought some bread along to feed them
so we could get a closer look.
Since the focus of this study was on birds and comparing and contrasting,
we talked a bit about which birds were larger, what the color differences were, and who ate more bread. More ducks arrived on the scene. The boys ate a bit of bread, fed the ducks, ate a bit. They liked that part.
"Look, Mom! Fish!" said my oldest son. He had spotted small fish swimming around.
And that's when the boys noticed the two men with fishing rods nearby.
The boys asked lots of questions of them and the men were quite friendly
and offered to let the boys take turns reeling fish in.
Examining the worms was a highlight.
Touching the fish's fins was what boy #2 had in mind.
The man told us it was a blue gill as he threw it back in.
After this fun, we sat on a bench in the shade to munch our apples we'd packed and drink some cold water.
My oldest drew a fishing pole in his nature notebook as it had made the biggest impression on him.
I liked watching the ducks "take off" from the water and my boys noticed all the dragonflies buzzing about and how when they dipped their tails in the water, it left tiny rings of circles floating outwards. We talked a bit about the patterns in the water and what might have caused them.
This is what I recorded in my nature notebook.
Boy #2 did not choose to draw in his nature notebook this time.
He wanted his picture taken near these lizards imprinted in the sidewalk instead. Can you see them?
Despite the heat of the afternoon, we had a memorable time and made some fun discoveries. Next week, the Bird Preserve in our area re-opens and after today, we are even more excited to go and see a wider variety of birds. (and fish. and bugs. and maybe even lizards.)