Wednesday, November 26, 2008

a walk in the woods

On Sunday we went over to the Nature Center for a walk in the woods. I had read about a quiet activity to do in the woods to get kids to use their senses a little more and wanted to give it a go. The idea is you have to be REALLY quiet, no moving, no talking, and just listen and then tell each other what you hear. This was easily the most quiet I have ever experienced walking in the woods with the kids. They were pretty into it. We would walk a ways - it was hard to be super quiet with all the leaves on the ground, but when we stopped no one talked and we would just listen for 30 seconds and then tell one another what we heard. It was amazing. We could hear leaves falling to the ground, birds chirping off in the distance, the few crickets that are still chirping. We heard a squirrel running across a log and another one running to meet it. We even heard some larger animal walking off in the distance. It was pretty cool. I can't wait to try it again in the spring when everything is coming back out and the trees are putting out leaves. I wonder if we will be able to hear the leaves bursting forth? I definitely think we will be able to hear even more. I do love walking in the woods when the leaves have fallen. It is a reminder to me that dying is part of living and the importance of death for growth. Not necessarily death in the sense of loss, death can simply be the leaves losing their color and falling to the ground to regenerate and feed the plants and life around it for next year, or something in your life changing for a new door to open. I often say that winter is my least favorite season - mostly because I do not like to be cold, but the death is vital for us to truly appreciate the spring. What if we had spring year round? We would take the dew for granted and the chirping of birds. Would we be able to fully appreciate the birth of the insects and the butterflies? Something to think about...

Anyhow, here are some of our pics from the walk.

The family always ahead of me. I walk so slow when I'm in the woods trying to take in every moment.

Kalib found this interesting growth of privet. It looked like a gateway - maybe to the land of the fairies - you never know when in the woods. I didn't get a good enough picture of it, but the camera couldn't get focused on him if it was zoomed out any further.

Hazel came along and here the kids are being kids and climbing on some fallen trees.

The highlight of the walk - a crane - we watched it land in the water and wade out deeper. We thought we might get to see it fish, but it never did because a person with a dog came running up on us watching it, but they are just majestic birds. I was thinking while we were watching it why doesn't it's legs get cold? I know it is biologically suited to be in water in all temps, but how? Something for one of you homeschooled students to help me figure out!

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  1. Wow!! That sounds like just a wonderful time in the woods! I'll have to try the Quiet Game the next time we're out, it sounds like something my kids, also, would be very enthusiastic about. Every time we go out trekking somewhere, I come back home thinking, "We really ought to do that more often", and then we don't. But I think maybe that will be something to work on over this next year, especially as A. is getting older.