Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Nature Study: A Lovely Place

 One of the greatest things about The Man of My Dreams is his ability to stumble across absolutely Lovely Places. He spends a lot of time just exploring - under the guise of scouting for elk - and takes us back to his best discoveries. If I ever did find a Lovely Place, I'd never be able to find them again.

One of the greatest things about Two Little Girls is that they can go just about anywhere and find something to play, something to learn, and something to smile about. It doesn't have to be anything most people would write home about - give them a couple of good trees and a handful of wildflowers, and they are happy as can be.

It took all of five minutes for them to set up "house" here: "This is where the bed will be," as the oldest rushes off to gather a handful of grass, creating a makeshift broom with which to sweep the boulder free of pine needles. "Here's the mailbox!" as the smallest finds a giant knot in the tree just at eye level. The giant roots quickly became the stairs, and spaces between trees were the front and back doors. A bit of dripping sap collected from the side of the tree was the honey for the pretend tea we were served.

A walk down the hill provided a handful of wildflowers and a visit with the bees. Have you ever gotten close enough to a bumblebee to see the pollen stuck to it's back legs? When there are so many wildflowers around, there is no need to worry they might sting - they are too preoccupied to care about humans.

Homeschool? You betcha. Nature study doesn't get any more real than that. But better than that, it was time spent together, parents happily listening to kids explore and learn and pretend. It was being grateful for living in such a beautiful place, rejoicing in the perfect simplicity of nature.

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