A Little Mud Never Hurt Anyone

In fact, muddy dirty play is incredibly good for you. According to research, playing outside in the grime and muck has health benefits for your heart, skin and immune system. Plus, studies show enjoying a good clean (dirty) day in the dirt increases happiness, reduces stress and enhances learning. Really. Here’s some reasons to encourage you to back away from the hand sanitizer, laundry soap and hand towels, and embrace the gloriously goopy joy of nature’s immune-system-builder extraordinaire.

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Science Observation: Owl Pellets

If you are easily grossed out, I’d recommend finding some other reading material for today. You can come back next post. I won’t judge. My daughter’s math book recently had a reference to owl pellets, which, she’d never heard of (I know…I’ve completely failed as a parent educator). So of course, relieve my guilt, and satisfy her curiosity, I put together a little pellet party. What can I say? I’m a nerd to the core. Continue reading

Nature Sketchbook

“I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”
― Isaac Newton

Nature Sketching

There is truth and beauty surrounding us in nature if we only take the time to observe it. The pace of life often leaves us in a whirlwind of schedules, appointments, errands and meetings, leaving little room for scrutiny and delight of the magnificent world encircling us. Continue reading

Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area

While my husband was training for his new job in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge, the kids and I took a jaunt to the Oregon Coast and spent 5 glorious days flying kites, observing nature, building sand castles, exploring miles of pristine beaches, discovering tide pool creatures and generally having a jolly good time.

At the Oregon Coast

The Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area was one of the highlights of our trip, and I thought I’d share a little for anyone in search of a ruggedly beautiful place to vacation this summer.

Yaquina Head & Lighthouse from Cape Foulweather

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How to Change Blue to White and White to Blue

Otherwise known as sunprints! My kids and I enjoyed this fun science project last year. The beautiful weather this weekend reminded me of it, and thus you are the beneficiary of a great outdoor learning activity for you and your munchkins.

You’ll need sunprint paper, acrylic sheet, cardboard, a tub full of water, fun and interesting objects to print. You can purchase sunprint paper from Amazon (who now has free same day shipping to 14 metro areas with Prime Memberships!), they also sell sunprint kits which include an acrylic sheet, you’ll see from the pictures that I used a Pyrex casserole dish thinking it would be just as good…I was so wrong. I ended up with blurred fuzzy edges. Just say no to fuzzy edges!

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Science Observation: Bird’s Nest – Hydro Update

Around these parts, one of the most eagerly anticipated portions of the day is late afternoon, when Hydro and Gazelle come to hunt for remnant seeds beneath our feeder. Hydro is so skittish, that until today I wasn’t able to get a good photo. As a side note, you’ll often hear that Seattlites don’t have an accent. Not true. I thought “skittish” was spelled “skiddish”, because that’s how people from the Pacific Northwest pronounce double “t” in the middle of a word. “Seattle” would never be spoken like it looks around here. It comes out “See-addle”. Now you know our secret. Listen for it next time you’re conversing with a Northwesterner. Back to Hydro.

Thankfully, the weather was incredibly warm today and our sliding glass door was open to let in a breeze. Usually the noise of it is what makes Hydro and his momma scurry away. Tonight I managed to noiselessly slide open the screen and get a couple of shots in before the dash from evil me and my clicking lens. Continue reading