Mrs. Aitch's File Cabinet of Ideas for Nature Study Lessons

Sunday, April 24

Easter Sunday, 2011

5:50 p.m. ~ 79* ~  sunshine & light breeze

Redbud - up close & personal
Yep!  It's a warm day here in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia - not like the Easter-weather I've been used to in my home-state of Wisconsin.   And even though I'm not fond of "warm" weather, I do appreciate what the warm weather brings--and how early I get to enjoy the spring offerings! ......

Grape hyacinth (muscari)
What's up and growing in your yard?   Our daffodils are done blooming, a handful of red tulips are flaming along the sidewalk to the alley fence, and one bouquets-worth of grape hyacinth (muscari) are twinkling at me from along the walk near the garage.   And dandelions--holy cats! do we have dandelions in our backyard!!   Plus the chives that grow like weeds around here.

All our trees are leafed out now, the one by the garage (I believe it's a box elder) has dropped its little seedy-things.   The ones out front are very pretty, the leaves are still quite small and cute--like kittens!!  

We also have a grapevine growing on the arbor in the backyard, and just in the last three days, the leaves have woken up, and look like bunny ears--perking up all over the top of the arbor.   I've never had a grapevine before, and I know I should've pruned it, but--my bad!--I didn' there looks to be some dead vines out there, too.    Also there is a decrepit bird nest near the corner post closet to the house--it was occupied last June when we moved in, but boy-oh-boy, it really looks in need of a home-improvement-loan right now!  

Now . . . about those dogwood trees I'm seeing along our street--I simply MUST plant one of each:  the white kind and the pink kind.   Beside the fact that I love the people at our church and homeschool group and my quilting guild...the dogwoods and redbud trees alone would be enough reason to LOVE West Virginia.  

So, when we finally get to move to our new (to us) house, I plan to get three dogwoods and a redbud or two.   And I plan to learn to paint well enough that I can make some interesting work to turn into greeting cards and wall-art.  

I didn't take this picture, but saw a similar vision yesterday.    I think if Anne Shirley (from Anne of Green Gables fame) saw this area of the US she would be as thrillingly captivated as she ever was about the Great White Way on Prince Edward Island!   I cansee her running up to me, flushed with excitement, "Oh, Mrs. Aitch, couldn't you just imagine entering Heaven through a lane like this?  It fairly takes my breath away!"   

Nature Hike

Take a walk outside your own home. Look around at all the signs of Spring in your own backyard! What do you smell? What do you see? What do you hear? Fresh earth, budding plants and trees, birds chirping? How does the wind feel against your cheek?

Keep your nature journal handy....summer is a busy time in the natural world! Jot the occasion, date, time, weather, and anything unusual. Make a simple sketch to help you remember. Doesn't have to look like da Vinci! Just your sketch.

Take note of a special tree in your yard. Keep track of it during each season. Sketch one or two branches right now. Take note of the buds or twigs. Date the sketch, add the time of day, something about the weather. Yeah! That wasn't so hard!!