Sunday 27 July 2014

Nature Notebook: July

The highlight of this month's nature study was a trip down the south coast of New South Wales with my three youngest children so Nougat could complete his driving hours. I have a friend who lives down that way whom I hadn't seen for over 15 years and she invited us to stay overnight. We had a beach walk and a tour of the town the next day with my friend and then drove home again, stopping off at some picturesque little towns along the way.


 Moruya Beach

A biting wind and icy cold water didn't stop them having a bit of a splash

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

From Sea Fever by John Masefield 

 Moozle gathered some shells and drew some in her nature notebook when we were home:

I gathered shells upon the sand,
Each shell a little perfect thing,
So frail, yet potent to withstand
The mountain-waves' wild buffeting.

Through storms no ship could dare to brave
The little shells float lightly, save
All that they might have lost of fine
Shape and soft colour crystalline.

Yet I amid the world's wild surge
Doubt if my soul can face the strife,
The waves of circumstance that urge
That slight ship on the rocks of life.

O soul, be brave, for He who saves
The frail shell in the giant waves,
Will bring thy puny bark to land
Safe in the hollow of His hand.

Seashells by Edith Nesbit (1858-1924)

We used some Australian based books do do some more research on shells. The Wonderland of Nature by Nuri Mass has a good section and is very good for younger children. I have an old hardback copy I picked up for a song. You can still find a copy occasionally secondhand but it has been reprinted by Homeschooling Downunder.

I found the book below at one of my regular outings to the Lifeline book sales and it had lots of extra information.

Cloud formations are probably one of the easiest subjects for nature study. Every Friday in the late afternoon after swimming lessons, we go outside to go home and observe the sky. It's always interesting and sometimes spectacular.  We've used some suggestions from the Handbook of Nature Study Blog for this. If you click on Cloud Types it will take you to an excellent squidoo lens which has a comprehensive look at different cloud types plus other information.

This was our 'snow capped mountain range' cloud:

We saw some interesting cloud formations while on our trip down the coast:

Cloud Study by John Constable, 1822

Zana, our 21 year old in her final year of university, spent last week in country NSW as part of Beyond the Line which she thoroughly enjoyed. One of the local teachers organised some time on their family farm and she leant how to shear a sheep - and a very obstinate one it was so she tells us.


Celeste said...

What a beautiful coastline. We have actually been to the beach three times in the last couple weeks--having trouble staying away! :) That collection of shells is amazing, and the Masefield poem is one of my personal favorites.

Carol said...

We don't get to the beach that often but when we do it's always good to see how much informal nature study happens.

Barb said...

What a lovely entry! I was interested in your photos and getting to know more about this part of Australia. I enjoyed seeing how you incorporated poetry and art along with some nature study too. Thanks for setting such a great example!

Anonymous said...

LOVE the pictures, Carol! So beautiful! Definitely a highlight for any summer! What a great idea to study clouds weekly!! Anybody can do that, even me! Thanks for your blog and continual encouragement! Love, Betty

dorinalouise said...

How beautiful NSW is! Moozie's journal entry is lovely. I love the shell drawings and the description of the day. It's nice that you included Constable's painting in this post. It's nice to compare the clouds we see when going about our day to the ones that inspired someone to put brush to canvas :) And the poems are wonderful! Are they from a special collection of poems about the sea, or did you just happen to know them :) ? Thanks for sharing!

Carol said...

I enjoyed reading your entry to the carnival also! We knew the Masefield poem, Sea Fever, and I have it in a few poetry books but the Seashell poem was one I only found recently and thought it was lovely. Favorite Poems Old & New by Helen Ferris is a good anthology generally and has a couple of sections dedicated to nature topics.

Carol said...

Thanks, Betty.