Thursday, 31 January 2013

Club Day. The Nature Version.

I was looking forward to an absolutely frigid day for one of our Nature Club meetings, and January didn't disappoint.  Today, we made a super-quick fire and ice sun catcher and (just as quickly) discussed a whole range of nature-ish topics.

I ran across the fire and ice sun catcher project in Amanda Blake Soule's book The Rhythm of Family.  The children and I gathered some winter animal edibles on one of our family walks earlier this week, before the deep freeze set in.  We tried our best to identify the plants so we could share that information with Nature Club.  We found rosehips, berries from a buckthorn tree, wizened crabapples, and chokecherries.  We also grabbed some fallen evergreen twigs and pinecones to add some variety to our sun catchers.  Finally, from the fridge, I offered sliced oranges, pumpkin seeds and cranberries.  All this information was shared with the Clubbers.

As we filled our bundt pans (which the Clubbers dropped off before the meeting so we could freeze a layer of ice in advance), we talked about the animals that winter here and we wondered about how hard or easy it was to find food. 

Lastly, we talked about the uniqueness of water, despite its ordinary appearance.  Specifically, we chatted about how it expands when it is a solid.  We talked about the sounds the ice made as we poured a layer of water over top of the goodies we'd just placed in the pan.  Yes, water is amazing.

And the sun catchers?  They'll shine brightly during these short, bitterly cold days and bring a little winter beauty into our lives.  Then, when the temperatures rise and the sun beats intensely on them, they'll melt and drop their bounty down for the birds and squirrels to savour.   They'll remind me that all in this world is temporary, and urge me to soak up every bit of loveliness that enters my world.

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