I have a confession to make. I am a complete failure at nature study. Honestly, my idea of the perfect nature study is sitting outside on a very warm, dry, beautiful Oregon day and reading a book about nature, such as, A Girl of the Limberlost!
Don't get me wrong--I long to do nature study and I even get inspired, but after one or two attempts I just give it up. (And yes, I have tried using the Outdoor Hour Challenges from the Handbook of Nature Study blog.) I have more excuses for why not to do it than why to do it, such as:
- Where do I go?
- I live in Oregon and it rains all the time thus it is...
- Too muddy--we don't have the proper foot gear for mud or...
- It's too cold--we don't have the proper clothing or....
- Finally, the sun came out and the trees and flowers are in bloom. Let's go explore--Achoo!!!!! Sniff, sniff!! Where is my allergy medicine???
In the book it is recommended to make a bird feeder and attract birds to your backyard. Well, I seriously doubted we would have any come since where we live is a residential area (Imagine my shock the first morning after we moved to this neighborhood I woke up to a crow cawing vs. junco's twittering prettily in the trees of our old neighborhood). Anyway, I went out and bought a cheap bird feeder and some bird feed and put it out and lo and behold after a week or two we began to attract birds to our backyard!
If you look in the top of the picture you can see a (blurry) House Finch.
Resources we use .
I will admit we aren't going outside very much and we don't have any beautiful nature journals sitting around and Handbook of Nature Study sits unused (especially on my part), but attracting birds to our backyard has created and fostered a love of learning about birds in our house. Hopefully, it will lead us to make it outdoor and discover and learn about other parts of nature.