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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Week Four Challenges for the Nature Scavenger Hunt for Families

I am camping until Thursday so my last week photos will be late and I'll catch up when I get home...or if I can get some good wifi while away I will try to get my photos up sooner.

I hope you all enjoyed your pond discovery. We've had another crazy busy week and I can barely believe how fast the summer is flying by. We were not able to get to as many ponds as we hoped; catching frogs is one of my girls favourite things to do, but we did manage to get out a bit.

This fourth week is all about exploring a Provincial Park or National Park (or State Park for our US friends joining in). All pictures must be taken inside the park where you took the photo in front of for July 20th.

July 20th: At least one member in front of the Provincial, National or State Park sign 5 points

July 21st: A natural animal home in the park 10 points, 10 bonus points if your animal is at home

July 22nd: Watch for wildlife 5 points for the first picture, 1 bonus point for each additional animal photo added to the comments and 1 bonus point for correctly identifying it

July 23rd: Search for items you think an animal might eat. Correctly identify what you found 10 points. What animal do you think might eat it 5 points

July 24th: Moss or Lichen 5 points

July 25th: Mushroom 5 points  (Do NOT touch as many mushrooms are poisonous)

July 26th: Search for signs of wildlife. 10 points. Post a picture of what sign you found and explain what you think you found signs of...ex..maybe you found animal tracks. Post a picture of the tracks and have your child(ren) hypothesise what they think made the tracks. Share their guesses for another 5 points.

WEEK Four Bonus: Take a nature journal (or even just some paper), markers, coloured pencils or paint with you on your walk. Near the end of your walk find a place to stop and draw as many species of plants or animals that you saw, in your journal. Post a picture of your journal page. 50 points

I hope everyone is having fun exploring...and actually getting more time to explore then we are! Enjoy your park discovery as I'm looking forward to seeing all your pictures come in. Have a great week!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Week Three Nature Scavenger Hunt for Families and my week two pictures

Week three already...the summer is disappearing! We had another week where life got in the way and we barely got out to explore and capture all the wonderful colours to be found in nature but from seeing your pictures in the facebook group it looks like you all got out to explore a lot. Before I get to our photos for the week here is what you'll be hunting for in week three.

This week we will be exploring ponds and marshes. With this weeks challenge the point is to actually get out to a pond and explore. There is so much to see and investigate if you take the time to do so. Take a net with you, a field guide, a nature journal, a see through container to observe your findings before setting them free. Boots are recommended so you can get in the pond and have a very hands on investigation.

Here are this weeks challenges:

July 13th: Sunbathing turtle (out of water on rock or log)10 points (10 bonus points if you can correctly identify it. 25 bonus points if you can find a second species of turtle and add that photo to the comments)

July 14th: Beaver Dam 10 points (25 bonus points if you find the beaver and add that photo to the comments)

July 15th: Flowering pond plant 10 points (5 bonus points to correctly identify it and 10 bonus points if it is not a water lily)

July 16th: Reflections on the pond 5 points

July 17th: Canoe on the pond 10 points (25 bonus points if your team member(s) are in it)

July 18th: Water Fowl. Find a Duck 5 points, swan 10 points or Heron 25 points (50 bonus points if you find all three species. Add the second two photos to the comments of your first photo please)

July 19th: Dragonfly 5 points. Two dragonflies in same photo 10 points

Week 3 BONUS: Make a handmade net (from natural items or recycles items but no purchased items) to take to the pond. Show us a picture of your net at the pond.

Now for my week two pictures:

July 6th Red




July 7th Orange

July 8th Yellow








July 9th Green







July 10th Blue

July 11th Purple/Indego







July 12th Pink



Week two's bonus was to take a paint chip card and try to match the shades on it to real items in nature...but we did not get around to doing this. time seems to just fly by these days :(

Now off to hit the ponds; one of my girls favourite spots to explore. They love to try to catch frogs, observe them and let them go. Green frogs are by far the most common frogs around our area. Hopefully while exploring a couple different ponds we will be lucky enough to spot a leopard frog. They are one of our favourites.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Week Two Nature Scavenger Hunt and my week one photos

Week one comes to an end. With my husband getting his cast off this week and us all being sick throughout the week we didn't spend nearly enough time out in nature as I would have liked to. I barely managed to get all the pictures myself this week but we did get them done in the nick of time.

First though here are the 2nd weeks challenges:

This week we are repeating a favourite theme from a lot of the participants last year. It's time to go on a colour hunt. Each day this week has a colour. You must pick one main photo as your entry but in the comments of that one photo, you may add in extra pictures of other natural items you found of the same colour for bonus points. Each additional photo in the comments will be an extra point. For example monday is red. Add a photo for the day and under it in the comments attach as many other red items as you can find.

July 6th Red 5 points
July 7th  Orange 5 points
July 8th Yellow 5 points
July 9th Green 5 points
July 10th Blue 5 points
July 11th Purple/Indigo 5 points
July 12th Pink 5 points

Week 2 Bonus: Take a paint chip card from a paint store (any colour scale you wish) with at least 4 different tones on it. Take it out in nature and collect items that match your colour card as closely as possible. 5 bonus points per each (very close) match.  

Also do not forget about the extra bonuses throughout the summer that you can do when ever you choose.

The following may be uploaded at any time during the 9 week period:
EXTRA bonus 1: Create a clay face on a tree using all natural items 50 points
EXTRA bonus 2: Go star gazing. Can you see any constellations? Which one? ones? Take a photo of it or create art to resemble the constellation you saw. 25 points
EXTRA bonus 3: Find a great stick and decorate it to be a walking stick to use while you are exploring 50 points
EXTRA bonus 4: Go camping... Take a family photo outside your tent or camper 25 points
EXTRA bonus 5: Explore a hiking trail. Take a journal with you. Stop and draw some of the things you saw on your walk 5 points per item you draw
EXTRA bonus 6: Visit an ocean or visit a desert...find something you think is interesting, take a picture of it and share a fact about what you found. Tell us where you are too please!  25 points
EXTRA bonus 7: Create a fairy house for our fairy friends 50 points. (note extra bonus points may be awarded here, or at any point for creativity)

Please remember to correctly identify each picture you upload with #2015naturehunt as well as the date and a brief description.


Here are my photos from the week:

June 29th: A family portrait of everyone who is participating in this hunt bonus points if it's a photo of your family climbing a tree. We didn't have the best climbing shoes on but we managed.


June 30th: A photo looking up at the Canopy of the trees 


July 1st: (Canada Day Holiday) Maple tree 

(bonus points if you CREATE something with no more then two maple leaves) Please be very careful when picking leaves from the tree as to not break any branches. We made a banner to celebrate Canada Day.



July 2nd: Rays of light shining through the trees to the forest floor 


July 3rd: Forest Floor picture. Pick a spot and sit on the forest floor. Look closely. How many different creatures can you identify from your picture. We actually didn't see any creatures in the area we sat in but we found a maple seedling, an oak seedling, Indian smoke pipe (ghost flowers), acorns, twigs, moss, pine needles, dead foliage and a fern.


July 4th: (Independence Day Holiday USA) Sunrise or sunset 

We got to see the sun begin to set tonight but didn't stay until the end as after playing at the park, then eating an ice cream treat the girls were cold and wanted to go home.


Week 1 BONUS'S for extra points:
Show how you celebrated either Canada Day or Independence Day outside in Nature.


We had a campfire out by the river. Sierra started this fire all by herself (with close observation).

We are hoping to all be feeling better are get out there and find many colours in nature this week and hope you enjoy this upcoming week as well.


Monday, June 29, 2015

2nd Annual Nature Scavenger hunt for Families

It's time!!! The second annual nature scavenger hunt for families has begun!


If you haven't signed up yet you can do so by joining the Nature Scavenger Hunt for Families Facebook Group. Anyone can join during the first week. Next Sunday (when I send out the second week's tasks for the hunt) will be the end of new members joining and everyone who has not participated this first week will be deleted. Over this past year there have been many, many, new participants and I want to make sure only those who want to participate are here.

This nature scavenger hunt is meant to get you and your family OUT in nature this summer so natural photos are a must and they must be taken the same week as the tasks are posted.

You are welcome to participate just for fun or you can join in for the competitive points side of the hunt but I am hoping your main reason for joining is to bond together as a family while exploring and learning about the wonderful natural world all around us. Each week will focus on a theme in nature. To make it a bit different then last year most are new themes, but there are a couple theme weeks which are the same as they were loved by all and I think everyone will enjoy those weeks again.

Since this week marks the first week of summer vacation here in Canada we are starting out with one of my personal favourites; the Forest because what better way to start the summer is there then a few walks through the forest. Depending on where you live it could be a mixed forest with many types of trees, or perhaps you live near the giant Sequoia forest or maybe you have just a wooded lot near your house. No forest near by??? Perhaps its a great excuse for a day trip! Or better yet; travel to a different forest everyday!

If time doesn't permit you to travel to a participate everyday you are welcome to take all your photos on one day... however again I recommend you spending a couple days at least exploring the forests nearby. Take a tree field guide with you for extra learning fun (and maybe earn some bonus points).

Remember you can do each task on individual days or all at once (depending on how much time in nature your family can commit to) just as long as the photos are uploaded to the Nature Scavenger Hunt for Families Facebook Group by the following Sunday each week. So for example all the photos from week one must be uploaded by Sunday July 4th.

(Normally this list will come out on Sunday nights. I'm off to a wonderful start with being late this first week. Please except my apologies but we got stranded in a small plane in another town last night when bad weather hit.)

1) June 29th: A family portrait of everyone who is participating in this hunt 25 points (10 bonus points if it's a photo of your family climbing a tree, 5 more bonus points if you can correctly name the type of tree it is)
2) June 30th: A photo looking up at the Canopy of the trees 5 points
3) July 1st: (Canada Day Holiday) Maple tree 5 points (10 bonus points if you CREATE something with no more then two maple leaves) Please be very careful when picking leaves from the tree as to not break any branches.
4) July 2nd: Rays of light shining through the trees to the forest floor 10 points
5) July 3rd: Forest Floor picture 5 points. Pick a spot and sit on the forest floor. Look closely. How many different creatures can you identify from your picture. 5 bonus points per item correctly identified. Photo will need to be clear enough for me to also identify them.
6) July 4th: (Independence Day Holiday USA) Sunrise or sunset 5 points

Week 1 BONUS'S for extra points:
Show us how you celebrated either Canada Day or Independence Day outside in Nature 25 points

Don't worry if you miss a day's points or don't achieve all the bonus points as there are many, many more tasks in the coming weeks to make up points.

I want to also share with you now some extra activities to gain points throughout the summer. These extra bonus's are meant to get you thinking and participating in outdoor activities throughout your summer.

The following may be uploaded at any time during the 9 week period:
EXTRA bonus 1: Create a clay face on a tree using all natural items 50 points
EXTRA bonus 2: Go star gazing. Can you see any constellations? Which one? ones? Take a photo of it or create art to resemble the constellation you saw. 25 points
EXTRA bonus 3: Find a great stick and decorate it to be a walking stick to use while you are exploring 50 points
EXTRA bonus 4: Go camping... Take a family photo outside your tent or camper 25 points
EXTRA bonus 5: Explore a hiking trail. Take a journal with you. Stop and draw some of the things you saw on your walk 5 points per item you draw
EXTRA bonus 6: Visit an ocean or visit a desert...find something you think is interesting, take a picture of it and share a fact about what you found. Tell us where you are too please!  25 points
EXTRA bonus 7: Create a fairy house for our fairy friends 50 points. (note extra bonus points may be awarded here, or at any point for creativity)

Does this all sound confusing? Trust me it sounds a bit confusing to me too but I will tally up everyone's point totals weekly so you know where you stand in the ratings. This is only our second year so if I have been unclear or you have any questions at all please feel free send me a message through the facebook group and I will try to answer your questions more clearly.

IMPORTANT!!!! Remember to add the hashtag #2015naturehunt to the photo description of EACH picture as you upload it to the Nature Scavenger Hunt Facebook group so I can easily keep track of each submission and award your points accordingly. Please also describe your photo. For example your photo entry for June 30th should have a description like this in the comments when you upload it:

June 30th- Tree canopy #2015naturehunt 

Feel free to start a family albumn on the facebook group page. make sure to title it 2015 and your family name please.

Ready? Set? GO!!! Have fun exploring, discovering and learning about our wonderful world together as a family. I can't wait to see all your photos...Oh and random bonus points might be awarded for creativity. Remember...if you miss points one week there will be ample weeks available to catch up in the points department. Some tasks will be easier then others and points will be awarded accordingly. Now get out there and start exploring, learning and having fun snapping pictures and making memories.

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