The Wonder in our Own Backyards

I admit that I’m a bit of a homebody, to put it mildly, but I will say that even for those of us who stay at home and explore our own backyards there is wonder and newness to be discovered EVERY SINGLE DAY!  We don’t have to spend a fortune to travel to far-flung lands in order to have adventures, to see new life, or to wonder about things we don’t know.  Right here in Rockford, Michigan there are amazing things to experience.  All we need is a little wild patch of land.

Look up!  There is a red-bellied woodpecker calling out and drilling holes.  What are they eating?  Who will nest in those holes when they get decomposed enough on the inside?

Look down!  What the heck is that cool little curled up green and brown thing that is pushing up through the dead leaves?  How did it know when to come up?  What eats it?  Are there more?

Look over there!  That fallen tree is calling me to come walk on it.  I love how my brain feels when I balance on logs.  Speaking of logs, look how this one has amazing layers of striped mushrooms on it!

Look the other way now!  Is that a hole in that tree?  Maybe something lives in there!  Oh, it’s got water in it.  It feels so warm.  I wonder if anything lives in this water?

Nature exploration is never ending.  There is always more to experience.

Practicing balance, building core strength, body-awareness, depth perception, eye-foot coordination, etc, all the while carrying on a running stream of verbal consciousness, learning about native wetlands and friendship.  You can’t beat that for an after-school activity!


We read the poop book before heading out and used it to notice some “scat” we found in our explorations.

Lily of the valley is coming up everywhere!
We had two new explorers with us this week and they loved The Enchanted Forest!
Exploring angles and cause and effect. Otherwise known as having fun bouncing on a springy branch over the water… It was so warm that day!
Testing out the bridge that I. built and others helped with.


Off on an expedition!


Fiddleheads know when it’s time to wake up!
Fairy Forests with fiddle heads.
The woods is a perfect place for throwing things!


A mossy hat.
Mossy hats don’t stay put very well.
We found a fairy shrimp! This is one thing with the word, “fairy,” in it that none of us made up!


Can you see the fairy shrimp? We watched it through the magnifier as it spun its tiny legs and curled its bitty tail. It will be fine food for frogs!
O. gently returns the fairy shrimp to its habitat.



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