Friday, August 3, 2012

Mei's First Nature Exploration

You know those vacation days where you spend all day outside on a hike, at the beach, at the zoo, not paying attention to the time or the temperature? We had one of those days today and it was blissful. We headed out to explore the backyard right after we were done with breakfast and morning chores. At first we were going to collect nature treasures in a little wheelbarrow that the previous owners left for our kids, but that proved to be futile with a little Miss Mei dumping things out regularly. So, instead, we took pictures and the boys ran the most interest treasures to the patio to leave for later investigations.

I took other pictures including some of the boys, but this post focuses on our Mei and her day. She copied everything that her older brothers did today, so you can guess what they were up to. She's a little naturalist in the making.

The first tree you encounter just beyond our patio is this Boxedler Maple Acer negundo. I learned that after discovering that it was host to a bunch of red boxelder bugs. The boys enjoyed finding them all over and soon Mei was wanting to poke them and have them crawl on her. Yay for a dry summer, which these insects love. Hopefully they don't decide to winter with us.

The oldest and largest tree we have in our yard is a beautiful oak. I asked Bean to pose in front of it and she just followed along. Maybe I'll take their pictures each year in front of it or something. I do really hope this tree lives forever. It gives a great vibe to the backyard.

Next we found acorns from our oak tree. I think it's a bur oak, just like the small one we had at our former home. Mei was calling it a "ball." You can see her beginning to make a "b" sound. 

Then onto nature journalling. I was surprised that Bean just whipped his materials from our backpack and started drawing our oak tree without my prompting. Tey followed suit. Mei felt left out as she didn't have a nature journal nor a roll of these colored pencils made from branches (Bo and I made the former and bought the latter for the boys for Christmas). Note to self: colored pencils that look like sticks are going to be hard to find at clean-up time after journalling. The boys shared their materials with her and she was in her own world for a while.

I didn't realize that it was after one when we got back into the house. We did quietly observe a fawn explore our back yard for a long time. We also picked up a bunch sticks to toss on the burn pile (maybe S'mores tonight?). And had a nice chat with our neighbor. Anyway, it was later than usual for lunch, and Mei never quite made it all the way through her meal. 

I have never seen her fall asleep at the table before. I'll take that as a sign that she had a good time on her first nature exploration in our yard.

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