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

Wednesday, October 5

October Days

Quercus ~ Oak trees
After many weeks of incredibly rainy weather, we have broken through the clouds--and we see sunshine!   Trees have been dropping leaves (a few every day) for weeks now, but lately the rate has increased.   I will be sad to see them go because they are good insulation from the railroad and car noises, but I will also welcome the view they've been hiding too.

Odocoileus virginianus Whitetail deer doe
As we were driving over to dear daughter's Biology class yesterday, we slowed down to make the corner and were delighted to see a whitetail doe along the road.   I stopped the car and she stood still, not more than an arm's length away from the mirror on that side of the car.   We must've been up-wind of her, because she stood there for more than a minute, trying to get a vibe on us!   Deer have the most tender looking faces God ever created.

Sciurus carolinensis
Later that morning, as I sat in the car and waiting for daughter in class, I enjoyed watching the antics of the Eastern gray squirrels scampering around in the yard near the car.   One inquisitive fellow raced up the tree next to the car, then clutched the tree trunk in an upside down position and observed ME in the car.   He stayed completely still once he spied me behind the tinted windows.   He won the stare-down as I finally went back to reading my book after about five minutes!  

Learn all about squirrels right here!

With all the oak trees in our yard, our yard is quite the playground for squirrels, too.    In fact, they're bold enough to come up onto our deck and tear into the sunflower seeds on our flat feeder located on the deck rail.  That feeder is meant to entice the cardinals, not the squirrels.  Instead of "fighting" the squirrels, I'll get some cob corn and rig up a feeder JUST FOR THEM out near the back trees, to keep the squirrels further away.

I'll have to go buy a board, but I can make one of these ... or several even!  Nothing fancy, because squirrels aren't very fussy!  

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!!