The earth is what we all have in common.
~ Wendell Berry – Naturalist
Weekly visits to local parks have always been a part of our schedule, but at the start of September the trips became more of a daily occurrence. The change came as we began participating in the Summit Metro Parks Hiking Spree.
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books. ~ John Lubbock
Turning outdoor experiences into learning experiences is always a priority. One way we accomplish this is by starting each adventure with a plan to carefully look for examples of specific organisms or earth processes. On today’s hike, we focused our attention on wood decay fungi.
Mosaic is the art of creating images with an assemblage of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials.
Art from Nature
It’s a slow moving rainy Saturday at the schoolhouse. Last night we filled a bag with freshly fallen maple leaves, and picked up a large brown cotton wood leaf for today’s Jack-o-lantern Mosaic project. It was the perfect night for a walk. The air was crisp and the leaves were dry. Kicking our feet through the fallen leaves is a game that never gets old.
Early this morning, before the boys awoke, we made our cups of tea and coffee and got to work. We cut the colorful maple leaves into small square pieces. Then, we created two pumpkin shaped forms from last night’s pizza box. Our final piece of prep work was cutting some jack-o-lantern face pieces from the cottonwood leaf.
Peak color is in full swing here at the schoolhouse. Our maple trees are displaying their brilliant red and orange leaves, while the Willow, Catalpa and Osage Orange trees have turned their dismal yellow. Even the evergreens are shedding needles. Shaking their branches to make the needles rain down has become a favorite part of our morning walks.
With Autumn’s arrival we’ve been observing and talking about change. The falling leaves, birds flying south, outside temperatures and the adjustments to our wardrobe have all made for great learning.
Yesterday we observed swarms of bald-faced hornets,