Why the Tree of Life?


Nature Center

looking at a fox pelt

We met some friends at the Austin Nature Center today to trade in some finds from our Summer Nature Table. You can trade up to five things at a time and then 'buy' something in their collection (from finds other children have brought in). Kirven didn't want to trade anything this time, but Dunagan traded a sycamore seed, a mountain laurel seed pod, a mesquite bean, and cicada shed, and a mud dabber nest. He got twenty-five points, plus fifteen for talking to her. He ended up wanting to save up his points. The naturalist had a tray of seeds, and Dunagan found the matching ones to the ones we had brought, and he also matched the cicada shed to the one on a board of mounted insects. Then she broke open the mud dabber nest to show us the dead spiders inside that the parents bring into the nest to feed the babies. Cool! (and makes me shiver uncontrollably at the same time).

When we first arrived, there was a large elementary school group in the Naturalist's Workshop room. We hung around outside watching the bees in their see-through hive until all the children lined up and headed outside. It had been pandamonium in that little room. How nice it is as homeschoolers to go in moments later when no one else is there and have the naturalist to ourselves! She could leisurely answer all our questions and even get to know our names. Hers was Mary, by the way.

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