Great Blue Heron
A friend of mine who blogs posted pictures on Facebook recently of a nature trail right outside our town. It's part of the national Rails to Trails project, in which former railroad tracks are converted to walking trails. Kudos to whoever came up with this plan!
My daughter Beezy and I checked out the Wabash Cannonball Trail in NW Ohio on Monday. It was such a beautiful day, and I didn't feel like doing the usual lessons. When you crave a bit of nature, give in! My powers of intuition have been highly tuned lately, and our timing turned out perfectly. From a bridge on the trail that sits above the road we came in on, I looked down to see a very tall bird standing in a roadside stream. Another walker came along, and I motioned him over to take a look. He told us that the bird was a Blue Heron. What good fortune! It stayed where it was for a long time.
All of Beezy's practice using the camera over the summer paid off, because she was able to get much better still shots than I was, and she recorded a wonderful video of the heron taking off in flight. When we came back home, I felt refreshed, so after lunch we proceeded to have our lesson time, and I easily found online information and short documentaries on this grand bird. Tuesday it rained all day, so I was glad I had followed my instincts. Once I get the photos developed, they will go into Beezy's nature notebook.
This focus on relationships with God's creation lies at the heart of a Charlotte Mason education. Natural science studies should be largely a hands on prospect. Homeschoolers have the freedom to go exploring when the mood or the opportunity strikes. I cannot emphasize enough how well this gentle art of learning benefits our family and our relationships with one another. I can teach from a place of rest, and my child can learn in a likewise manner.