Friday, February 22, 2008

No Child Left Inside

I love it!! To culminate a beautiful week in the Pacific Northwest, the kids and I decided to take the Outdoor Hour Challenge.

Barb at The Heart of Harmony has challenged the homeschool community to add nature study to their school week. To achieve and encourage homeschool bloggers she has decided to post a weekly challenge every Friday. That gives you all week to plan. Smart lady!

Well, the kids and I have met the challenge. Everyone who knows me knows I am not an outdoorsy mom. I don't enjoy hiking, and I don't enjoy camping. I do like the beach and can spend hours and hours sitting in the sun reading. I can bring a blanket to the park and lay in the sun with a good book. I will willingly sit by the pool as long as a book is in my hand. You get the idea. To accept this challenge I had to put down a book or stop cooking and get outside. I think Barb made an agreement with the weather to give me a whole week of sun so that the motivation would be there.

Nothing is really growing around our neighborhood. It is a new development and it is still winter in our neck of the woods. So we spent our time outdoors watching the clouds.We do have a very interesting tree we want to photograph but I left my camera behind on our walks. Perhaps next week....

The clouds are so cool here. You can have so many at one time. Here are the pictures we did manage to get today.

Oldest Peep took all of those as I was driving into downtown today.

We read about clouds here and here.

We also read Little Cloud by Eric Carle and then I found The Book of Clouds by John A. Day. I am going to look for it at the library.

In the challenge we were asked to research two things in nature that called our attention. Well, we looked and we looked but could not find what sort of pine tree this pinecone belongs to, so we are posting our pictures here in hopes that someone out there knows. We found it interesting because of the spikes or leaves sprouting from it. Please leave a comment if you know what kind they are and we will be forever in your debt.

Barb, thanks for letting us join in the fun.


  1. Great cloud photos! Glad the weather cooperated for you....and that you posted your link.

    I think the cone is a common douglas fir cone, do a quick google image search and see what you think.

    I look forward to hearing about your nature adventures in Ecuador.

    Barb-Harmony Art Mom

  2. Yep, Douglas Fir....

    Hey, thank you for stopping by my blog! I like yours too.

  3. I just knew you guys would come through. I can't wait to show the peeps tomorrow!


  4. Wonderful pictures!

    Did you know that you can tell the type of weather it is by a pine cone? If it is warm (if you keep the pinecone indoors), it will open up. Now put it outside and it will close up because it is cold. Neat little experiment. :o)

    I just love nature! I am soooo excited, happy, thrilled, etc. that Barb is hosting these wonderful events. We are working on ours today!

    TTFN my friend!


  5. Patricia... It is a Douglas fir pine cone... and I have a little story for you that I was told years ago...

    Each year, at the end of the year....the 6th grade class at my school got to go away to Fort Flagler camp here in Washington. (Over the Hood Canal Bridge) The entire 6th grade camped! It wasn’t just hanging out though.... the teachers took the time and taught us about trees, wild flowers, algae.. Plankton… zooplankton... you get the picture...

    Well on the day we were studying about trees... we were told a story a story about the pine cones… I’m linking the one we were told and another one I found… I thought your kids might enjoy them,,, I wanted to make sure I got my story straight and this is it! It also has great pictures to go with it… Its been.. hehemm a few years since I was in sixth grade and I wanted you to know all of the story, not my foggy brain trying to remember version….. so.. woohoo for Google!

    The mouse, the Douglas fir and the great forest fire:

    I hadn’t heard this one before… but thought it was cute:

    Im enjoying this run of sun too! WE were gone all day yesterday playing!!

    Hope all went well w/ the passport!!!


  6. This Green challenge stuff is great, isn't it!? Totally helping me do something I have been wanting to do but didn't know how to start.

    Love the cloud photos. The sky was so blue! And good for you for getting out and doing something that is not in your "nature"!

    Looking forward to next weeks!