Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What Would Happen if You Turned Your Child's Frustrating Distraction Into an Accidental Scientific Investigation?

I hear my neighbors out the window, biking home. The little girl is dillydalling. Her dad, already home, is audibly annnoyed. And then she screams:

I found a worm!

Dad sighs; his demeanor shifts: A WORM! Bring it here! Show it to me!

I hear her bring her bike, and worm, s.l.o.w.l.y. to her dad. Her patient dad.
I can still hear them through the window, discussing this worm. It's a boy and a girl, he tells her. I found himher near the grass, she reports. He asks her what she thinks himher likes to do?

He doesn't need to lecture his daughter, of training-wheels age, about hermaphroditic reproductive strategies. Or that her discovery is probably a member of the Amynthas genus, and that there are native and invasive earthworms. Or how himher burrows in the soil eating dead and decaying things; such a small thing making mechanical and chemical changes to the soil. Or even that Charles Darwin wrote: "It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world, as have these lowly organized creatures."

He just connected with her and fostered her connection with nature. Over a worm.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Nesting Materials Inspired by Today's Temporary Spring Weather & Bird Songs!

Today was 61°F warm! An open-your-windows-and-listen-to-the-birds-sing warm! It's no secret, it's been winter! A record-making winter! And it's not over, because it's going to snow tomorrow night! So we took advantage of the day, took some inspiration from the birds, and made a little gift of nesting materials for our neighbors. We also took some inspiration from this great idea!
Found some moss (from the Halloween decorations)and a suet-feeder.
The non-taxidermied mammal wanted to add some of her hair.
So we did.
And then we hung the nesting materials near the bird-feeders!

Monday, February 24, 2014

See Science Everywhere

Icicles form when sunlight (or nearby warmth) melts frozen water which is pulled downwards by gravity into cooler air where it freezes again.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014