Gardening with a Preschooler: The Strawberry Experiment

This summer for one of his projects, my three year old has been diligently caring for a strawberry plant. He waters it, keeps it clear of weeds, and on three separate occasions has had the supreme delight of picking a strawberry off of it. That's right. Spoiled as it is, the plant has only yielded … Continue reading Gardening with a Preschooler: The Strawberry Experiment

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Olympic National Park: Bird Watching

Ah, so many birds and so little time to sketch them poorly in my nature journal! While we did not see too many big animals on our trip to Olympic -- not like going to Yellowstone where you're practically tripping on elk and bison the whole time -- we did get to see a lot … Continue reading Olympic National Park: Bird Watching

Olympic National Park: Wildflowers

In the literature I was reading preparing for our trip to Olympic, one description stated that the park had a "dazzling variety of wildflowers."  That was no joke!  Due to the extreme variations in ecosystems throughout the park, countless types of wildflowers flourish.  Below are just a few that we enjoyed. Most images are courtesy … Continue reading Olympic National Park: Wildflowers

Olympic National Park Ecosystems: Temperate Rainforest

The word "rainforest" conjures images of brightly-colored macaws, 15-foot anacondas, and jaguars creeping along tree branches; however, rainforests are designated simply by the amount of precipitation they receive each year.  Their flora, fauna, and climates vary in every other way.  If you're interested in the temperate rainforests of the Olympic Penninsula, set aside your visions … Continue reading Olympic National Park Ecosystems: Temperate Rainforest

Olympic National Park Ecosystems: Forests, Rivers, and Waterfalls

Our hunt for more waterfalls led us to explore the Elwha River, Barnes Creek, Falls Creek, and the Sol Duc River.  Hiking to Marymere Falls gave us our first good look at an old growth forest. Immense, moss-covered trees towered over us, and the incredible assortment of wildflowers varied with each change in altitude, sunlight, … Continue reading Olympic National Park Ecosystems: Forests, Rivers, and Waterfalls

Olympic National Park Ecosystems: Mountains

Our week in Olympic National Park began in the mountains surrounding Lake Crescent.  We lodged at the Log Cabin Resort and had a cabin right on the water.  The boys enjoyed having easy access to the water for tossing rocks in the lake and watching the many birds -- especially mallard ducks, Canada geese, a … Continue reading Olympic National Park Ecosystems: Mountains

Olympic National Park Nature Study

The American National Parks are a dream come true for families seeking an opportunity to explore wildlife and wilderness.  This summer we made our first visit to Olympic National Park.  Located on the Olympic peninsula of Washington state, this park offers a uniquely diverse experience.  Moisture from the Pacific hits the western side of the … Continue reading Olympic National Park Nature Study

Gardening with a Preschooler: How Plants Grow

Our seed project has been taking off!  Our preschooler planted zinnias in a few pots, and he has been faithfully watering them every day and making sure they get plenty of sun.  The sprouts are finally big enough to put in the ground, so we transplanted them this week.  In the process, we got a … Continue reading Gardening with a Preschooler: How Plants Grow

Nature Journal

My aunt -- in addition to being a corporate real estate lawyer -- is a very talented artist.  When I saw her last month at my sister's wedding, she pulled me aside conspiratorially at one point to show me her painting journal, a little watercolor pad she has been adding to on her travels for … Continue reading Nature Journal

Charlotte Mason: Outdoors Every Day

Since making the decision to home school my children, currently ages one and three, I have been researching various methods of home schooling.  Over the next few weeks, I'd like to share with you some of the benefits I've seen in each of those methods.  If you are considering home schooling, this may help you … Continue reading Charlotte Mason: Outdoors Every Day