Nature Around the Net

Crab with Fish-1

The kids found a dead fish, so they caught a crab to see if it wanted a free lunch. It did!

 

This space has been quiet lately. It would seem that summer is getting away from us and we want to soak up as much as possible before the beauty of fall ushers in the cool days of winter! Of course, with the abundance of summer comes lots of discoveries, so we will make some time to share some of our summer nature finds this week!

During our investigations we have come across a few links you might like!

This page has some great info on how to tell the difference between a male and female crab!

Vacation Art: From Farm to Palette! Great nature journal inspiration!

– Everything you wanted to know about caterpillar legs!

Starting today we are sharing nature journals over in the Mud Puddles to Meteors Facebook group! Head on over to get inspired, and share if you like!

If you are not already in the group, request to join and I will add you ASAP!

Have a great weekend!

Dawn

P.S.

I do share many of our Nova Scotia explorations and discoveries on Instagram. If you are on IG find me here!

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Nature Around the Net

Baby Bullfrog 1-1

We had an exciting week here filled with baby bullfrogs, dragonflies, butterflies and more. Along the way we found some links you might like to explore!

Sky Hunters, The World of the Dragonfly (full length documentary for a rainy day!)

– Great facts about the butterfly proboscis can be found here and you can see the butterfly proboscis in action here.

–  A Pluto round-up

Bullfrogs Eat Everything!

Have you come across a neat nature related post or article this week?

Feel free to share in the comments or on our Mud Puddles to Meteors Facebook Group page. We would love to see what you have found!

Happy Exploring!

Dawn

P.S. If you missed Annie’s review of the wonderful book, Nature Anatomy, you can find it right here.

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Nature in Your Neighborhood

Nature In Your Neighborhood is a feature that focuses on the nature that we all interact with in our everyday lives. Through the window of these posts you can catch glimpses of nature in action in locations across the country (and sometimes beyond). Send us an email at kidsandnature (at) gmail (dot) com if you are interested in sharing your neighborhood nature here!

……..

This week was filled with flowers, color, and creatures that creep and crawl (which most of us are delighted about, but not all of us)!

ladybug -1

More and more ladybugs are being spotted on the alder bushes.

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It always feels like that young maples are giving us a fall preview.

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The sundews are going strong. Their flowers are almost ready to bloom.

Web -1Our foggy, misty mornings have provided lots of opportunities to study web construction, with the silk laced in droplets.

(Read this if you want to learn more about how spider webs capture water.)

Wolf spider mama -1

We have been seeing mama wolf spiders carrying egg sacs but this was the first spot of one carrying her babies!

(You can read more about spider egg sacs and mama wolf spiders in this post.)

wild rose-1

The little multiflora roses are so fragrant you can smell them from down the road.

If you would like to share what is happening in your neighborhood you can leave a link to a post in the comments here or pop on over to the Mud Puddles to Meteors Facebook group and share a little bit of your world.

Not a member of the FB group yet? No worries. Just request to join and we will add you ASAP!

~ Dawn

 

 

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Nature Around the Net

bee pollen-1

Throughout the week we always find inspiration and motivation through the computer screen to get out and explore nature. It is an interesting thing how tech can connect us with knowledge of nature and feed the desire to know more!

Here are sharing a few things that might inspire you and yours:

Time Lapse of Lady Beetle Life Cycle!

– For early risers: Moon and Albebaran before dawn July 12th

Do children with ADHD benefit from nature? Study hopes to find out! What do you think?

Sharks Discovered Inside Underwater Volcano! (Cool video)

And to fuel your adventures…

… gluten free orange almond fig granola bar for the trail!

 

Have you come across a neat nature related post or article this week?

Feel free to share in the comments or on our Mud Puddles to Meteors Facebook Group page. We would love to see what you have found!

 

Have a great weekend of exploring!

~ Dawn

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On the Shelf: Nature Anatomy

After a long period of time where our family (well, the adults mostly) was pretty well focused on minimizing our belongings as a way of making our urban apartment big enough for a family of six, I’ve been on a tiny bit of a book bender lately. I’ve been trying to adhere to my personal rule that if a new book comes in an unused one should go out, and I think I’ve done an okay job of it.

Folks, I would clear an entire shelf and cart it off to Goodwill for the sake of owning Julia Rothman’s Nature Anatomy. It might very well be the perfect book.

Nature Anatomy is an illustration guide to the natural world, and it is delightfully comprehensive. Rothman’s drawings are quirky and whimsical without losing their sense of being realistic and informative. And, she details everything about our world from the core to the upper atmosphere (and even beyond). It is a rare book that includes illustrations and facts about things as different from one another as lemmings, swamps, microorganisms, birds, flowers, and snowflakes. But this book does, and it is beautifully executed. I didn’t even know that I wanted to learn about the Lyme bacteria life cycle, but Rothman’s pictures easily convinced me otherwise, and now here we are. The book even includes a few projects, recipes, and tutorials thrown into the mix; each with their own set of delightfully hand drawn instructions for things like wild foraging, painting landscapes, and mixing up facial masks from seaweed.

Nature Anatomy is one of those books that I immediately took to and loved so much that I knew it would be difficult to explain my enthusiasm without feeling like I was falling short and not saying everything that I meant to. But if your family is fond of fieldguides, nature picture books, hand drawn art, or exploring information about the way the world works, this book has a place on your shelf. Promise.

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Is it a Dragonfly or Damselfly?

Is it a

They fly around catching insects in mid-flight. They have clear wings, long bodies, and big eyes. They are dragonflies and damselflies!

Dragonflies and damselflies have many things in common, but there are some key differences that can help you tell them apart. Read on to find out more about both the adult and nymph stages of these incredible insects and how to tell which one you have spotted.

There are, of course, more nitty-gritty ways to distinguish a dragonfly from a damselfly, but for our purposes the following things will set you on the right path to a proper ID.

Dragonfly or Damselfly

If you would like to download a PDF of the above page for reference or use in your nature journal you can find it right here.

We have recently read that dragonfly spotting is becoming a very popular hobby, and in some circles is almost as competitive as bird watching!

 

If you are keen to learn more about dragonflies and damselflies (and maybe even start your own life list) here are a few resources you might enjoy!

– There is a great guide for both dragonflies and damselflies here.

– The Migratory Dragonfly Partnership has a really nice online guide here.

– This project is pretty amazing looking (for those very serious about studying dragonflies)! That link also takes you to a blog worth exploring!

 

Have you been spotting dragonflies and damselflies this summer?

 

 

 

 

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Activity: Nature Bracelets

nature bracelets

The other day I was searching for some inspiration for a project or activity I could do with my Forest Friday group. I had a few thoughts but nothing was sounding really exciting to me at that moment. Then I saw Kelly’s post about nature bracelets and it reminded me that it was something I had been waiting to do with the group (trying to stick snow to tape did not sound appealing when I first came across the idea).

It is an activity low on supplies but big on fun. The kids (and parents) really got into it, even some of the reluctant older kids.

Here is what you need:

– Tape

– Nature

Yes, that’s it!

You simply make a bracelet with the tape so that the sticky side is out, then head out to collect and decorate as you go. I had both green masking tape and duct tape for the kids to choose from (most of them picked the green).

Nature Bracelet 1-1

I went ahead and brought along some colorful card stock so the kids would have a way to display their bracelets once they were complete (and they were ready to take them off). Some of the kids even decided that they would rather just decorate the paper, so we taped tape sticky side up on their paper and they created masterpieces of collected nature finds.

Nature Bracelet Paper-1

It was very exciting to see the kids engaged and really keeping a keen eye out for what they could find for their creations. Along the way we discovered insect galls, spittle bugs, and even a bright blue flower that just did not belong in the woods (from a bouquet of store bought flowers at a picnic maybe?). We talked about the things that could be picked and things best left in the forest (pink lady’s slippers). The kids were constantly coming up to show me what they had discovered and added to their bracelets.

When we arrived home my son wanted to hang up his nature art so we decided to put it on the cork board.

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I was having so much fun helping kids make their bracelets and attaching them to paper, all the while talking about what they were discovering along the trail, that I did not really get a chance to make my own. Everyone loved it so much I was inspired to go out into the yard and made one of my own design when I arrived home.

Nature Bracelet 4-1Nature Bracelet 5-1

It was a lovely little meditation on the little things out back. I highly recommend it for you adults out there too!

For those of you who are interested in more specific details about how this activity engages kids, Kelly was a Montessori teacher and explains how this activity is done in her nephews Montessori School summer camp in her post here.

Try it and let me know how it goes!

I would love to see pictures in the Mud Puddles Facebook group!

Happy Exploring!

Dawn

P.S. Our Mud Puddles Summer Nature Camp starts July 6th!

Click on over to find out more about this online camp and how it can help you and your kids make nature study a fun part of your summer days!

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Nature In Your Neighborhood

Nature In Your Neighborhood is a feature that focuses on the nature that we all interact with in our everyday lives. Through the window of these posts you can catch glimpses of nature in action in locations across the country (and sometimes beyond). Send us an email at kidsandnature (at) gmail (dot) com if you are interested in sharing your neighborhood nature here!

……..

The spring flowers are finally starting to fade and be replaced by the early summer blooms in our Nova Scotia neighborhood! The sky has also been offering quite a spectacular show, when it is not raining!

Sunrise-1

Sunrise is very early these days. The sun was well up by the time this picture was taken at 5:50!

Blackberry buds Spittle-1 Blackberry buds with spittle from a spittlebug!

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Lupins are covering the countryside right now. We have a few in the backyard.

Moss Spore Capsule-1 The moss spore capsules are almost ready to burst!

Queen Annes Ant 1-1The ants seem to love the Queen Anne’s Lace.

Star flower 1-1We have been seeing star flower for awhile now but they have only recently shown up in our forest!


Asperatus Clouds 1-1

Asperatus clouds over our house.

You can learn more about this proposed new cloud formation here on the Cloud Appreciation Society website!

If you would like to share what is happening in your neighborhood you can leave a link to a post in the comments here or pop on over to the Mud Puddles to Meteors Facebook group and share a little bit of your world.

Not a member of the FB group yet? No worries. Just request to join and we will add you ASAP!

~ Dawn

 

P.S. Mud Puddles Summer Nature Camp Starts July 6th! You can participate no matter where you live and it is going to be a great way to help connect your family to nature this summer! Check it out here!

 

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Mini-lesson: Spiders

Mini-lesson

We have had such great feedback about a mini-lesson we offered to those on our mailing list we wanted to share it with all of our blog readers.

It is a little sneak peek of sorts for what is in store for those of you who join us in our online Mud Puddles Summer Nature Camp.

Our camp days will be spent exploring information, activities, and worksheets like those found in this mini-lesson, along with so much more (including games, projects, book lists, and many other resources).

When we asked members of our Facebook group which topics they would like to see in Summer Camp spiders came in fifth place. While we could not fit them into our camp schedule, we figured with that kind of interest our arachnid friends deserved a bit of attention, so our mini-lesson is all about spiders and their webs!

You can click here to download your mini-lesson about spiders!

If you are looking for nature study inspiration this summer, head on over to our Mud Puddles Nature Camp page to learn more and sign up for a month of summer nature fun!

~ Dawn & Annie

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Nature Around the Net

Dragonfly emerged-1

This week truly felt like the first week of summer here in Nova Scotia and we are looking at a beautiful weekend ahead!

Here are a few links to kick off your weekend nature explorations:

– Ever wonder how blue birds get their color?

5 Tips to Get Your Kids to Play Outside Even When It’s Super Hot!

Week’s Best Space Pictures. Those moons. Whoa!

How to Make Your Own Nature Scavenger Hunt!

Have you reserved your spot at the Mud Puddles Online Nature Camp yet?

It starts July 6th! Click here to check it out and sign up for the fun before the busy holiday weekend gets underway!

Happy Exploring!

~ Dawn

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