Bringing nature into the classroom can kindle a fascination and passion for the diversity of life on earth and can motivate a sense of responsibility to safeguard it.
We are finishing up summer camps at work and the adult group tours are starting to ramp up. In a few weeks, our school field trips will begin. While I have always believed in the value of bringing the outdoors indoors for observation, I prefer taking the student outside the classroom to see the diversity of life that surrounds us, no matter where we live. There is so much happening in the Garden right now as we begin to wind down the summer season – fall wildflowers staring to bloom, butterflies and other pollinators abound, seeds and fruit are becoming more noticeable, and visitors seem anxious to stroll our trails and take it all in (especially after all the rains we have had). After work yesterday, I decided to take a stroll through this native plant wonderland before heading home, camera in hand, to see what I could see. There were plenty of things I did not photograph – the stunning stand of cardinal flower that is concentrating hummingbirds along our Piedmont trail; the snapping turtle awkwardly grazing on lizard’s tail leaves in our vernal pool surrounded by hundreds of gray treefrog tadpoles; or the flashes of yellow as goldfinches fly up from their dinner on the seed heads of yellow composites and purple coneflowers. But I did stop to observe and digitally capture a few things that caught my eye, and called me and my macro lens over for a closer look. The diversity of life in this Garden is amazing (and is something we can all do on our own property, at least in some small way, if we plant a variety of native plants).
Take a stroll and discover some of the diversity outside your own door. It will be worth it!
I always love your photos and commentary on what is happening from season to season at the gardens. How had the weather been in your area this year? Here in The Netherlands we are suffering a long drought. I rode the train across the country the last couple of days and saw brown everywhere. The government here came out and told all of us not to panic! Well… I have worked for a government and that is always the thing they say when you should prepare for the very worst.
Thank you for your kind words. We have had just the opposite weather here lately. Yesterday was the first day in what seems like weeks we have not had rain…over 9 inches at our house in the last 10 days!
Wow- what an unbalanced system. We finally got 2 inches the other night but as I was digging in my garden only the top soil has moisture. The government here says we are about 10 inches short. Send it our way.
wonderful finds and captures!