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Friday, May 22, 2015

it's been awhile...

I'm so far behind it isn't even funny. My camera messed up while we were on vacation in September and I got so upset, I dropped off of the blog, instagram and facebook worlds. It's time to get back to business though and gradually get caught up on past posts of our adventures as I do want them documented.

I'll start with our first trip of the year to Copeland Forest this week...mainly pictures but we had a great time as always.

Aayla enjoying a little break in the Copeland forest
The girls heading down one of the many trails in Copeland Forest


There were many dragonflies buzzing around despite the breeze.


The Marsh Marigolds were in full bloom.

Sierra having a little rest on the tracks
 
One of me taken by Aayla...isn't wind blown hiking hair so pretty lol

 Last year we found salamander eggs all around the vernal pools and rescued them and put them back in the water so they didn't dry out and die. Again this year we did the same. However this year we didn't find any salamanders (HERE's a link to our post where we found the newts last year and HERE is where we played with frogs and helped the salamander eggs)
Salamander eggs

Close up of the salamander eggs

Aayla rescuing some more salamander eggs

Sierra trying to catch a frog

Polliwogs galore

There is something so beautiful about ferns...

Trillium's and ferns

I wonder if he's a prince?
 Aayla found this little patch of violets and thought they were so beautiful.
Aayla and her violet patch

 Finally she catches a frog. We observe him for awhile and let him go.
Sierra and her frog prince
 

  
Crazy looking spider and her egg sac

We even found a little wood frog. A great first visit of the year to Copeland Forest. We will be back again for sure.
Aayla examines a wood frog

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

1st Annual Nature Scavenger Hunt for Families comes to a close

It's hard to believe that we are at the end of 9 weeks for our 1st Annual Nature Scavenger Hunt for Families. The 8th and 9th week was a combo week to find natural items for all the letters in the alphabet. Here are my 26 letters...I had to be a bit creative on a couple of the letters :)



























The only two actual letter shapes we found were both made of wood. One was an A and the other a Y. Apparently after seeing some of the participants letters they found in nature I need to think a little more creatively as they did an amazing job at finding letters in nature!
We had a lot of fun with these ABC pictures and all of the week's challenges. The summer has flown by so fast and I can barely believe we are at the end of our 9 weeks. 

I thank everyone who participated in this scavenger hunt for their understanding as we worked out the kinks of this first annual event and I hope to see some of you back again next year! If you would like to join next year feel free to sign up HERE and next Spring you'll receive a notice about when the challenge begins. Please make sure to sign up for notifications. Until then, may you all enjoy your time exploring the wonderful world around us.

Feel free to follow along here on the blog too or my blog's facebook page HERE for more natural and creative fun throughout the year. During the summer we tend to be out and about exploring a lot and then focus on more crafts etc during the winter months. i look forward to having you follow along.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Week 8 and 9 Nature Scavenger Hunt for Families...

I really, really, really hope everyone participating in the nature scavenger hunt for families got out way more then we did this week. We spent our free time planning and preparing for our first long distance family flight to be disappointed with storms which prevented us from going to NS as planned. It rained here most of the week and even though we spent some time outside around the house I don't count that as being out in nature. We failed...we were not out in nature at all this week and I don't have even one picture to show you this week. I feel like I have let everyone down but that's just the way this week has been unfortunately.

Did you enjoy exploring and looking for your tasks this week? Did you manage to accomplish them all or were you busy with other bits and pieces of life like we were? This week is really the last 2 weeks combined and should be a bit of a challenge...are you ready? It's time to go on an alphabet hunt. Each day you will be given certain letters and you need to find items that start with that letter for ex R=Rock simple right? the challenge will be finding a natural item for EACH letter of the alphabet to get 200 bonus points!

Remember to upload all your photos by Aug 31st with the hashtag #2014naturehunt and the date your picture is for as well as a description of your picture to help me award points more easily.

Daily bonus points will be for finding a letter in nature that is a letter...an ex finding a stick shaped like a Y. Each natural item that is the shape of a letter will get you 5 bonus points. Please upload only one picture per letter and make sure that a long with the regular hash tags you describe your photo as Letter A=Acorn etc. REMEMBER natural items you find in nature...not at the zoo etc.


Aug 18th: A & B 10 points each
Aug 19th: C & D 10 points each
Aug 20th: E & F 10 points each
Aug 21st: G & H 
10 points each
Aug 22nd: I & J   20 points each
Aug 23rd: K & L  10 points each
Aug 24th: M & N
10 points each

Aug 25th: O & P  20 points each
Aug 26th: Q & R  20 points each
Aug 27th: S & T  10 points each
Aug 28th: U & V  20 points each
Aug 29th: W & X  20 points each
Aug 30th: Y & Z  30 points each
Aug 31st: Take a family photo in your favourite place to go in nature. 

WEEK8&9BONUS: Complete the whole alphabet and receive 200 bonus points!!!

Don't forget about the overall bonus's which may be uploaded at any time during the 9 week period:
EXTRA bonus 1: A family portrait with a waterfall 25 points
EXTRA bonus 2: Discover a cave 50 points
EXTRA bonus 3: Make art with natures bounty 25 points
EXTRA bonus 4: Go camping... show us your favourite experience while camping 25 points
EXTRA bonus 5: Explore a hiking trail and share with us some of the wonderful natural things you saw while hiking 50 points
EXTRA bonus 6: Use natural items (rocks, sticks etc) to spell the word for how being in nature makes you feel 25 points
EXTRA bonus 7: A family portrait at either a National Park or a Provincial or State park. Let me know at least one thing you learned while at this park  100 points.


I hope you have all enjoyed the past 9 weeks and hope you will play a long again next year!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Week 7 Nature Scavenger Hunt for Families and my week 6 photos

Did you enjoy exploring with you senses this week? Was it easier or harder then you expected? I am falling behind in my own scavenger hunt. We have spent a lot of time outside but mainly at the beach or out on the river. We have had very minimal time exploring so my pictures this week are limited. 

As the summer winds down there are so many of the overall bonus's that I had great plans on exploring this summer but time is disappearing (sadly)! Where has the summer gone? Next Saturday we are going to Nova Scotia for about a week so hopefully in our travels there we will be able to accomplish some of our overall tasks as I know this week will be busy planning for our first big trip with the girls in the plane and I am not sure how much time we will get to explore this week. There is a lot of planning involved for this first big trip.

What will be doing this week? This week we will focus on certain miscellaneous items of natural beauty. 

Remember to upload all your photos by Aug 17th with the hashtag #2014naturehunt and the date your picture is for as well as a description of your picture to help me award points more easily.


Aug 11th: A Fossil that you found outside while exploring 20 points
Aug 12th: A Feather 5 points (5 bonus points for every different colour feather you find...the main colour in the feather will be counted as the colour...for ex a seagull may have white, grey and black. If the largest portion of the feather is white, it counts as white and can not count as grey or black)
Aug 13th: A Mushroom 5 Points (20 points if you can identify it)
Aug 14th: WILD animal tracks you discover while out exploring 20 points (20 bonus points if it's not bird tracks)
Aug 15th: An intricate spider web 10 points (10 bonus points if the spider is at home and/or another 10 bonus points if it's an ORB spider web)
Aug 16th: A birds nest 5 points
Aug 17th: HUG the tree with the largest circumference you can find 10 points (10 bonus points if you tell us your trees circumference, 20 bonus points if you need two people to touch hands around it, 30 bonus points if you need three people to touch hands around it, 40 bonus points if you need four or more people to touch hands around it)

WEEK7BONUS: Buy a seedling and plant a special tree in your yard. The choice of variety is yours but plant it where you can enjoy it for years to come. Show us a picture of you with your newly planted tree. 50 bonus points


Don't forget about the overall bonus's which may be uploaded at any time during the 9 week period:
EXTRA bonus 1: A family portrait with a waterfall 25 points
EXTRA bonus 2: Discover a cave 50 points
EXTRA bonus 3: Make art with natures bounty 25 points
EXTRA bonus 4: Go camping... show us your favourite experience while camping 25 points
EXTRA bonus 5: Explore a hiking trail and share with us some of the wonderful natural things you saw while hiking 50 points
EXTRA bonus 6: Use natural items (rocks, sticks etc) to spell the word for how being in nature makes you feel 25 points
EXTRA bonus 7: A family portrait at either a National Park or a Provincial or State park. Let me know at least one thing you learned while at this park  100 points.


As I mentioned above this week has been another week which has ended up being way busier then planned and the free time we had we spent at the beach and I don't always take my camera or phone for pictures so here are our (slightly pitiful) pictures for this week:

Aug 4th: Things in nature that feel smooth
The girls both said the sand was smooth.

as was the grass

and the feather

Aug 5th:  Things in nature that feel rough


Various tree barks

 Big boulder

Aug 6th: Things in nature that feel prickly


Sierra says these needles are prickly...(I neglected to get a picture of the thistles we saw!!!)

Aug 7th: Things in nature that are Camouflaged


OK So I cheated...I saw this moth last week but I am adding him here anyway as we didn't find anything camouflaged this week and since I am not participating for points I'm using it just to show you :)

Aug 8th: Things in nature that you hear...how does it sound?


We heard the wind. It sounded soft as it created very small waves, lapping on the lake.


We also heard the sounds of the bees buzzing on flowers while playing at the park.

Aug 9th: Things in nature that you smell...how does it smell?


These wild roses smelled very sweet.

Aug 10th: Things in nature that you can taste. Identify what it is and describe how it tastes

We found a patch of wild chives...Sierra said it tasted yucky and Aayla said it tasted yummy... we didn't find any blueberries, raspberries or blackberries which should all be available now.


They also tasted tree sap...Sierra said it tasted totally disgusting and Aayla just shrugged her shoulders.

WEEK6BONUS: Show us a picture of something you found interesting in nature this week. Tell us: Why was it interesting to you? Try to use all your senses to explore this item you found. Explain how your item feels, smells, tastes (if possible), looks and sounds. 50 bonus points

We have two pictures to share...

First is of a rainbow we saw while boating up the river towards home after a day at the beach/lake. It was interesting to the girls because it was a rainbow without rain. We couldn't touch the rainbow as it just went through our hands. It had no smell, we couldn't tastes it and it had no sound but it sure was fun to watch.

The next interesting this we saw this week was a young raccoon in the middle of the day. Again all we could do was to watch him so not a great example for using all our senses but you don't often get to see raccoons in the day and this little guy hung around on the ground for awhile before heading up into the tree.

Happy hunting for week 7 everyone!