I have to be honest. I have been having Nature Study Guilt.
I get a tad giddy while reading blog posts featuring families who faithfully keep and draw in nature journals and I admire the beautiful sights they see as they tramp off into the wilds near where they live almost daily.
Me? We take walks around the block in our suburban neighborhood as I dutifully push our double jogging stroller, which is always full to the brim with children...or visit a local park and playground to burn off the kids' excess energy. We do spend at least a few times outdoors during the week, especially when the weather is cooler. Our yards (front or back) are the next best choice when someone is napping and we can't all go out together. We've caught bugs and dug weeds and sat in the nice cool air. When we are really fortunate, we venture to the nearby desert and take a hike or have a picnic, thanks to the efforts of my desert-loving husband.
Having admitted that, I feel a bit lighter! Now, I can say with acceptance and delight: Our nature studies have been mostly in the nature we find on our walks about the neighborhood lately or near our home. It's not too exciting, and we don't stop to sketch what we see, but it is enough for now and enjoyable. I just have to remind myself to relax and enjoy this life stage sometimes :-)
It has been fun to discover and delight in some simple finds, like the grapevines heavy with bunches of tiny grapes in the alley near our street.
We took a walk 'for dinner'! This was my way of feeding my kids and getting my own exercise while my oldest two boys were elsewhere. It worked great! We've really had some fantastic weather, much cooler than this time of year normally is, so walks have been very welcome. I am breathing in these moments with relish because soon we will be stuck indoors when the heat really hits.
Walking on (gasp!) green grass! A nearby park offered my restless children respite and a cool place to stretch their legs. They busied themselves with the sports of slide-climbing and finding holes in the hedges to pass through.
A sweet-smelling flower that one of my sons excitedly brought me as a 'gift'. It's the little things that bring such happiness!