Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Nature School



    I see it as part of my job description as a grandma who lives on a farm, to continue educating my grandkids about nature; taking them out on adventures along the creek and drawing their attention to things they might not have noticed as we walk along.  We always look for different types of animal tracks in the sand of a beach or the mud along the side of the road.
      The farm is covered with snow right now which makes it the perfect canvas for seeing animal tracks.  When we were feeding the chickens last night, Zane and I stopped to look closely at the many zig-zagging prints of the rabbit families.  This morning as we filled the feeders for our little feathered friends, we looked at the different types of bird footprints in the snow below. The snow on the porch is full of the paw prints of our cats, Sweetheart and Baby.

Have I shown you this adorable picture of Everett wandering in the woods the other day? Sweet boy.    
      Zane is concerned about the fish in the pond. He hasn't seen them lately and wonders where they have gone.  We talk about what happens to fish in the cold of winter but I don't think he believes me.  Last week he spied a large frog floating beneath the water.  We thought he might be hibernating but, as it turned out, he was actually dead.  Despite being told to stay back from the water's edge, Zane kept trying to get the frog out of the water so he could check him out.  We finally did bring him up out of the depths and, sure enough, he was dead. We took him away and laid him on the ground under a bunch of dried grass since the ground was too frozen to dig him a grave.  The next day he was still there but the second day he was gone. Zane has been very diligent in keeping the ice broken on the pond so the fish can breathe.

   
       The other evening as he and I were walking through Maggie's Wood, singing the trees to sleep as we sometimes do, he stopped and listened, searching the sky.  Soon he yelled to me, "Grandma look! There! The geese are flying." Sure enough, there was a large V of geese flying overhead.  I was so proud of him for finding them in the near darkness.  He and I had heard and looked for them many times before, in the daylight.  He knows a lot about nature, as do his cousins.  They all love adventures out in the woods or along the creek.  When they are there the rules change and freedom to explore enlarges.  Time seems to stop and light changes somehow. I love this job.

     

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