Signs of Spring

Charlotte Mason said that once a child gets to touch, and be in touch with nature and it becomes a habit, it will be a source of delight his entire life. (Home Education, p.61) I have always believed this to be true. Nature refreshes the senses, offers quiet with no digital distractions, allows for children (and adults) to connect with God’s awesome creation. It is an integral part of my children’s home education, if not the cornerstone. Nature walks are the springboard for everything we do in science and yield numerous fruits (nature pun not intended.)
I am un-apologetic about autumn being my hands down favorite season for nature walks! But, spring does rival autumn in its offering of tangible beauty. Our annual signs of spring nature walk took place this year on Grandma and Grandpa’s farm through which the Flint River winds. There are 120 acres of marshes and wetlands, forest, natural spring, pasture, river and beach, deer, squirrel, beaver, fox, bats, birds, and every other woodland and river creature you could imagine. The land is teeming with life, and it is springing up everywhere right now. Yesterday was the perfect day for basking in it! We finished lessons, and loaded up for the short drive over. The dogwoods are in full bloom right now.

This is a look at the Tifton Field which is a smallish field surrounded by woods on three sides, and the bottom land on one. The bottom land is the lowest point of the property, and it is through this that the Flint River cuts its way. I have always loved the Tifton Field, to me it seems enchanted as it is a tiny opening amidst the sprawling woods. Right now it is dotted with small white flowers and many wild violets. Standing in the middle of the field is glorious right now, all of the trees are in bloom and many of them are dogwoods. We found a lot of deer tracks and the children had so much fun imagining that the deer might have been startled by something and bounded away quickly by observing how deep the tracks were engraved. Magical place.

My tree-huggers 🙂 This is the large Beech tree that Sparkly has lovingly “adopted.” I asked each of the children to adopt a tree last year. Sparkly adopted this large Beech at the edge of the woods and just at the entry into the opening of the bottom land. Sweet Pea chose a large Oak tree. Since we take a lot of our nature walks here, I thought it would be fascinating to observe the same tree throughout the seasons. We have watched them for a year. Last year was challenging for all the trees here, as we had a late frost that killed all of the new spring leaves, and a record drought. Fortunately, there is a natural spring on the land that feeds the trees here and they have been spared. It is always a joy to see them spring out with new leaves.

Peanut in particular enjoyed the walk today. He had so much freedom to roam and explore. If you look beyond him through the trees, you can just make out the little spring cutting its way though the forest.

The end of our walk, and we stopped for a short water break. I thought it would be nice to have one picture of Cricket on the walk – she was blissfully asleep for the entire thing, but I like to think of her enjoying the sounds of the birds and the children playing. I’m sure that wires the brain!

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  1. Yea! Cricket’s first nature walk. YOu can NEVER be too young to go hiking in the woods! Do you know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a dogwood tree?

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