Monday, 30 May 2016

Nature Comes to Us

We found this fella at the back door one morning and the next day, there was one of its offspring. I had to repent of my derogatory comments to the cat about being lazy and not earning his keep.



Moozle's notebook entry - drawn from the photo I took



A Rat surrendered here
A brief career of Cheer
And Fraud and Fear.

Of Ignominy's due
Let all addicted to
Beware.

The most obliging Trap
Its tendency to snap
Cannot resist --

Temptation is the Friend
Repugnantly resigned
At last.

 by Emily Dickinson

We've only had two obvious visits from echidnas (also known as spiny ant eaters)- they usually stay well hidden in the bush but we heard this one rustling around in the bush...




 And then he came right out into the open so we got a good look at him. So cute and ungainly.




The short-beaked echidnas (Tachyglossus aculeatus) are found in Australia and New Guinea, while the long-beaked variety are only found in the highlands of New Guinea.
They are shy animals and this one kept close to the rock wall while we were watching him and waddled as quickly as possible to the nearest bushy area not far away.




Their young are called 'puggles!'



Moozle loves to draw and isn't self-conscious about it but some of my children didn't like to draw because they weren't happy with their level of skill. One of the best books I've come across for boosting confidence in this area is this little gem:



It's only 60 pages, contains thirty-seven lessons and all you need is paper and a pencil. I bought some cheap scrap books and cut them into three sections cross-wise so everyone had a little drawing book. A couple of times a week they'd complete a lesson and in a short time I noticed the improvement in their drawing ability. Working through this little book made nature journaling so much more enjoyable for my students who didn't have a natural bent towards drawing. I can't remember where I bought this book but I've had it for 16 years and still use it. Amazon had some copies last time I looked.






We've had some spectacular sunsets this month due to a combination of weather conditions and hazard reduction burning of the bush. The smoke from the burning-off gets trapped.The presence of high clouds allows the light to scatter through the moisture in those clouds, and the small particles (aerosols) released by the fires are responsible for the array of colours.






10 comments:

  1. Oh, Carol.. seeing that little echidna would have thrilled my children! However, my 17-yr-old son might have considered the rat a tasty meal for his pet blake snake. ;)
    Lovely sketches by your children, as always. :)
    Have a blessed week, my friend.

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    1. Haha! I never bought of snake food. My nephew might have come over and picked it up for his pet snakes! I think the cat feels he's done all he needs to do for awhile. A blessed week to you also Lisa.

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  2. Beautiful sunset.

    Sweet drawings, too. I love when kids take their nature journaling seriously.

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    1. Thanks Ruth. Enjoy your week!

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  3. What exciting wildlife spottings--at least the echidna seems exciting to me. We had excitement here at our house when a doe left her brand-spanking new fawn under our blueberry bushes one day this week. All curled up it wasn't any bigger than our cat.

    And thanks for the drawing lesson recommendation!

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    1. Now that would be exciting! I hope she came back for it?? Many of our wild animals are nocturnal so there are some we tend not to see very often. Echidnas are very hard to spot visually as they blend in so well to the bush.

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  4. Moozle's work is always a treat. And "puggles"?! How fun. :) We haven't had many exciting spottings in our yard lately, but the birds are going crazy for our pluots, so lots of birdsong in these early summer days.

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    1. Just started winter here but we're fortunate that we still have lots of birds that stay around for the cooler months.

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  5. You have the most wonderful and strange animals! I love that drawing book too, I've used it for myself and my kids for several years now. Your posts are so full of great resources!

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    1. We do! The rat wasn't so wonderful but it's probably one animal that's found just about everywhere.

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