So I decided it was time to get back in the swing of doing regular nature study every week. (It was pretty sporadic when I was pregnant and sick.) We had a little powow and decided that we wanted to learn about Maple trees and start another year long study of cattails, since we didn’t keep up with the last one. We chose Maple trees first since we have some real beauties around our house right now and we set out with our nature journals, paints, colored pencils and our Handbook of Nature Study.
Wouldn’t you know it? As soon as the whole family had their shoes tied and were out the door, JD Boy remembered that he had a better idea. So off came his shoes and he ran upstairs to grab his butterfly net. Then back on went the shoes and he nearly flew out the door. He raced and jumped around the backyard and then hollered with delight. He had caught the subject of interest–a dragonfly.
He brought it up to me for my approval and then got another bright idea. He’s full of ideas! He ran off and got the butterfly cage (or whatever you call it) and quickly, I mean carefully coaxed his dragonfly into the cage. Then he was off again. Between he and Zippy, we managed to capture three dragonflies.
So you can guess that our Maple tree and cattail study were not a go. We studied dragonflies. I don’t really have any idea of how to identify dragonflies, but I found this blog post by the Dragonfly Woman that recommended a couple of books, which we have since been able to check out from the library. The titles are Dragonflies through Binoculars and Dragonflies and Damselflies of the West and are both quite easy to use. JD Boy thinks he has an identification of the dragonflies that we caught, as well as two or three other species that he’s seen around here several times.
Here are our nature journal entries.
The first two are paintings of the dragonfly by G’tums, age 4.
Dragonflies by JD Boy, age 7.
Dragonfly drawing by Zippy, age 10.
Colored pencil Dragonfly by Me.