Monday, March 03, 2008

Learning in the Great Outdoors #10

March is here. And here is our Tenth Edition of...



Your host is celebrating his 61st birthday this month. (Are those black vultures looking at me?!) Perhaps he deserves 61 links (instead of licks) and, of course, one to grow on. A complete hodgepodge of real gems.
First the volunteers:
#1. ... Up, up they traveled the curving highway. Up, up, up …. “My ears just stopped up,” she said. “Close your mouth; hold your nose and blow.” Following a short pause, “That was cool...”
Guy Kent, known to the blogosphere as The Questing Parson, is leading his granddaughter to the glories of the Great Outdoors of north central Georgia. Soon he discovers who the real leader is.
#2. ... Is plastic Bad? If you think it is and should be used in moderation, then we need to make a serious effort to reduce our use of plastic across the board, not just shopping bags.

Ariah Fine presents Quit Ripping on The Plastic Bags posted at Trying to Follow.

#3. ... Audubon Backyard Birdwatch by Stephen Kress introduces readers to the world of backyard birds...

John presents Book Note: Audubon Backyard Birdwatch posted at A DC Birding Blog.

#4. ... Very little compares to identifying a new bird in your feeder. This one was so unusual that we just couldn't stop looking at it...

Barb presents Evening Grosbeak in My Feeder and How We Identify a Bird posted at Handbook of Nature Study.

#5. ... My favourite place on earth is here in Costa Rica, a place called Tabacon. It is a hot springs in the Arenal Volcano National Park. Here in Tabacon you can enjoy hot springs, a walk through flower-lined paths, or eat a great dinner while watching the smoke and ash steam out of the Arenal Volcano nearby...

James Brausch presents Costa Rican National Parks posted at Costa Rica HQ.

#6. ... Have you ever considered how many global acres it takes to sustain your lifestyle? How many earths would we need if everyone lived the same lifestyle as you?...

Jamie McIntosh presents Reduce Your Carbon Footprint posted at Suite101: Organic Gardens blog, saying, "How many earths would it take to sustain your lifestyle?"


#7. "Owning animals is true education in the great outdoors! :)"
Stephanie presents TWINS! posted at Adventures in the 100 Acre Wood.



#8. ... The small things beckon to be observed. The soothing beauty of creation pleads to be enjoyed. It is time to explore the wilderness.

Renae presents The Barefoot Boy posted at Life Nurturing Education.


#9. ... I have started a Green Hour Challenge on my blog each week that gives short nature study assignments for families to get outdoors.
Barb presents The Heart of Harmony - Green Hour: Let's Get Started Challenge posted at The Heart of Harmony.

#10. ... it seems only logical that fashion and clothing makers would ... make ecological strides.

The Customized Girl presents Go Go Green Couture: Eco-friendly Fashions for Your Closet posted at CustomizedGirl Blog.

Here are three links from your host:
#11. ...The bell has rung. The students have paraded to the busroom and the carline. The hall is quiet. Someone else has car duty today. It's Friday and, although he should be working on next week's lesson plans, it is a cloudless warm February day. Your reporter rolls up his sleeves at 3:20, grabs the camera, and walks forth in the after school sunshine to find bits of Spring brazenly climbing out of midwinter...
Terrell presents Spring Has Sprung? posted at Alone on a Limb.
#12. ...What fun! Our science fair is an opportunity for each student to do real science on their own...
Terrell presents Environmental Science winners posted at Armuchee Science Fair.
While you are there check out the other pages in this school's Science Fair web site.

#13. ...As I gave the yard its first trim of the year in the late afternoon sun today I glanced to the west. The lovely backlit jonquils prompted me to cut the power and go for the camera:...
Terrell presents Jonquils in our yard and bugs on Mama’s house
posted at Mr. Shaw's Virtual Classroom.


The following are posts that your host collected from wonderful bloggers who forgot us this month. (Y'all get busy and get those April submissions in!!)

#14. ...After birding all day on Friday with Mike and Charlie I dropped Charlie off at his hotel and Mike off at his house and then what did I do? Well, I went birding, of course!...
Corey presents End of Day Birding posted at 10,000 Birds, where you can never go wrong. There's always a vicarious birding adventure to share with a child or anyone young at heart.

#15. ...Birds in the news...
John presents Loose Feathers # 139 posted at DC Birding Blog. "Loose Feathers" posts are John's ongoing miscellaneous birding round-ups.
#16. ...Last evening I took part in a focus group regarding the effects of gillnets on seabird populations off the North Carolina coast...
N8 presents Stuffed to the Gills posted at The Drinking Bird, another great birding blog.
#17. ...()...
Ms. Wren, herself, presents Old Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills
posted at her new address: Grandmother Wren. She posts pics of great play in the snow, and points the way to #18 that follows.

#18. ..."It's interesting to me that when we talk about play today, the first thing that comes to mind are toys," says Chudacoff. "Whereas when I would think of play in the 19th century, I would think of activity rather than an object."...
NPR presents Old-Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills posted at NPR Online
#19. ... I also believe in play....
Cloudscome presents 5 Interesting Things posted at A Wrung Sponge
#20. ...On a very cold day at the end of February, one wraps up and goes for a walk at twilight, touring through streets, lanes, fields, parks and the village common with her camera (of course), in search of something - she knows not what that something is or rather, what it will turn out to be. She reckons she will recognize it when she sees it....
Kerrdelune presents The Friday Ramble posted at Beyond the Fields We Know

#21. ...Those that were on the banana leaves took advantage of the droplets to have their bath. They rolled on the leaf to wet their feathers, ruffling them in the process and then preening them.....
YC presents Mass leaf bathing of sunbirds posted at The Bird Ecology Study Group.

#22. ...My students have taken to our weather unit with a passion I rarely see out of them except when they're talking about video games, the opposite sex, or the latest movie they've seen. They are obsessed with weather reports.....
Mrs. Bluebird presents Wishing Hoping Praying posted at Bluebird's Classroom.

#23. ...This weekend was Mass Audubon's annual backyard bird count, a project called Focus on Feeders. We participate every year, and it's great fun for amateur birders like ourselves! ....
Dawnathome presents Focus on the Feeders posted at By Sun and Candlelight.

#24. ...Fortunate enough to spend almost a decade of my childhood rambling with my dog through rural Ontario, I know the experience laid the very foundation of who I am. The natural world has been my constant companion and friend....
Free Range Kids present Mother Earth's Curriculum posted at Free Range Academy. Check out the homeschool mom's philosophy of an outdoor education.

#25. ...I’ve done my share of stream fishing and I can say it is a wonderful way to enjoy a day. Take a sack lunch, hike a little ways to the stream, explore the eddies and rapids....
Don West presents Gallatin Hatch posted at Idle Minutes.

#26. ...The environmental movement maintains that there is an interconnectivity inherent in everything, that all things are interrelated. Biological diversity is key to sustainability, so it would seem to follow that diversity of interest groups should be equally important and encouraged...
John Peter Thompson presents Minority involvement in environmental conversations posted at Invasive Notes.

#27. ...Right away I can see I will not be a homeschooler with strict schedules and heavily organized curriculum. It just isn’t me and it isn’t my son. We are both pretty independent and stubborn. We want things the way we want them period…and we don’t like being told what to do...
Tiffany presents Natural Learning: What is It? posted at Nature Moms Blog.

#28. ...Though most think of Austen as a prescient social critic and no one cites her as a source of green bon mots, she’s surprising me in every volume by her keen eye for nature and its relationships to individuals and society...
Julie presents Jane Austin Saves the Earth posted at Pines Above Snow.

#29. ...These small wildflowers take advantage of that brief period in early spring when the soil warms but deciduous trees have not yet leafed out. During this small window of time, they appear and flower before fading back into the soil again as their woodland habitat is engulfed in shade...
Wild Flora presents Pollinating the Spring Ephemerals posted at Wild Flora's Wild Gardening.

#30. ...I don’t know why this irritates me so much, but it really does. I have been fighting with Snopes about this for years. (And they were really snotty and rude about my pointing out their taxonomic error, too! Most disappointing!)....
Bug Girl presents They. Are. NOT. Beetles. posted at Bug Girl's Blog. And Bug Girl reminded me of a favorite resource, #31.

#31. ...More than just a clearinghouse for information, this site helps expand on the natural histories of our subjects. By capturing the place and time that submitted images were taken, we are creating a virtual collection that helps define where and when things might be found....
Iowa State University Entomology presents Bug Guide.
#32. ...Basically, these beetles are still living in mammal nests, it’s just that these nests are now our houses instead of a hole in the ground with, say, a badger living in it....
Somethingcrawlinginmyhair presents Carpet Beetle Larva posted at The Backyard Arthropod Project.

#33. ...This week Young Naturalist J was off from school (winter break) and once I learned the crew would be out trying to band Short-eared Owls . . . I just knew we had to go....
Tom presents Yes... a Long-Eared Owl posted at Monarch's Nature Blog.

#34. ...You may have to enlarge the picture to see it, but this is actual snow...
Rurality presents Funny Sentences I have Read Lately posted at Rurality.

#35. ...I had gathered critter pictures of all sorts for tonight's post; lo and behold, there were enough bird pictures alone...
Granny J presents For the Birds posted at Walking Prescott.

#36. ...If it were up to me, I would organize the primary school science curriculum around five key concepts...
Chet presents What should sixth graders know about science? posted at Science Musings Blog.

#37. ...The sky was beautiful this day, silvery and broken, a presage of more rotten weather to come. I was glad to be out, though...
Julie presents Still Walking With Chet posted at Julie Zickefoose.

#38. ...The purpose of this site is to record observations about mushrooms, help people identify mushrooms they aren't familiar with, and expand the community around the scientific exploration of mushrooms (mycology). Some have asked what counts as a mushroom. This site takes a very broad view. While the emphasis is on the large fleshy fungi, other fungi such as lichens, rust and molds as well as fungus-like organisms such as slime-molds are all welcome....
Nathan Wilson presents An Introduction to The Mushroom Observer.

#39. ...An unexpected find during my Chincoteague expedition last October* was a couple of shells of the European land snail Helix aspersa (= Cornu aspersum). Both shells, one adult and the other juvenile, were attached to the back wall of a small commercial building...
Aydin presents An Intruder in Chincoteague posted at Snail's Tales.

#40. ...I believe that if Jim Henson set out to create an animal, this would be the result. A comically wide, flat mouth. Bulbous, ping-pong eyes. A single, large eyebrow. Remind you of anyone?...
Garfman presents Let a Frown be Your Umbrella posted at Endangered Ugly Things.

#41. ...Kermit knew what he was talking about when he said that it's not easy being green. Sometimes the most environmentally friendly choice isn't always obvious. Everyday when I get a cup of coffee at my 9-5 job I'm reminded of this...
Anthony presents Seeds of Change New Plastic Seed Packages posted at The Compost Bin.

#42. ...Being in love makes everything look different. Suddenly, doing the dishes, which used to be a chore, turns into an act of gratitude. A kiss becomes not just an exchange of physical pleasure, but a deep communication of affection and desire... Loving is a great act of unselfishness, and sometimes unselfishness means sacrificing to make the loved one happy. The world, right now, needs some love...
Greg presents Love 'em or Lose 'em posted at Not Extinct Yet.

#43. ...Welcome to Butterflies and Moths of North America, a searchable database of verified butterfly and moth records in the United States and Mexico. This site includes dynamic distribution maps, photographs, species accounts, and species checklists for each county in the U.S. and each state in Mexico...
Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center presents Butterflies and Moths of North America.

#44. ...So, without further ado, here are my choices for the best science books for children and young adults (K-12) published in 2007....
Tricia presents Outstanding Science Books of 2007 at her new blog, Open Wide Look Inside.
#45. ...While I found the selected books to be excellent choices, I was more than a little disappointed that not one science book made the list...I’ve decided to correct this HUGE oversight... .
And Tricia presents Finding Winning Science Titles - Awards and Booklists at her new blog, Open Wide Look Inside.
#46. ...Finding good science books for kids isn’t hard, not if you know where to look. There are many outstanding lists published each year, as well as some lesser known awards that highlight excellent science books. Here are some gems you should consider looking to for guidance.....
And Tricia presents Still another list of resources for children's science books at her new blog, Open Wide Look Inside.
#47. ...Welcome one and all to the Carnival of the Blue, the celebration of ocean blogging on the web started by Mark Powell of blogfish! For the inaugural edition of 2008 we've got a number of great articles for your consumption on food, sex, death, and more!...
Carnival of the Blue #8: Food, Sex, Death, and more! is posted at [ I'm a chordata, urochordata!]

And now some organizations and websites that seem to share the goal of teaching children within the context of the environment:
#48. ...Allowing a young child to experience the natural world is not just a nice thing to do. It is vital - for the future of our children, the future of our culture and indeed the future of all life...
Hooked on Nature is new to me. Anybody know about these folks or their workshops and videos?

#49. ...The Children & Nature Network (C&NN) was created to encourage and support the people and organizations working to reconnect children with nature.....
The Children & Nature Network headed by Richard Louv, author of The Last Child in the Woods.

#50. ...Louv argues that kids are so plugged into television and video games that they've lost their connection to the natural world.....
Richard Louv talks about his famous book on NPR. Give a listen.
#51. ...Type in "children and nature" on Google and more than three and a half million items come up, the first of which is the Children and Nature Institute, a nonprofit organization in Los Angeles offering outdoor classrooms, festivals, teacher workshops, products for children, and the CNI Wonder Mobile that brings bird, mammal, and insect "units" for hands-on activities to schools and other organizations.66 Whether this or any structured educational program can ever equal the experience with nature provided by days spent digging in the dirt remains to be seen.67 As long as there are children and spots of unpaved earth, children and nature will be a subject worth considering and Dorothy Howard will be watching from her "thinking post."....
Bernard Mergen writes about Children and Nature in History.

#52. ...Knowledge without love will not stick. But if love comes first, knowledge is sure to follow... The problem with most environmental education programs is that they try to impart knowledge and responsibility before children have been allowed to develop a loving relationship with the earth..
Randy White takes on trends in environmental education.

Environmental Education News:
#53. ...The greatest threat to conservation…may be more subtle than bulldozers and chainsaws... Direct experience with nature is the most highly cited influence on environmental attitude and conservation activism... if the youngest generation loses that experience, the future of conservation is in jeopardy....
The Nature Conservancy reports that Kids Are Picking TV Over Trees

#54. ...For the last 20 years we’ve raised children with less and less interest in nature recreation - we are likely to see the repercussions in conservation and human health for decades to come...
The Nature Conservancy reports that Nature Recreation at All-Time Low.
#55. ...The understanding that we are a part of something larger than ourselves, is, I feel, Nature's greatest gift. With it, one's sense of identity expands and, by extension, so does his or her concern for the well being of all. True caring for the environment comes, as Lao Tsu said, "when you love the world as your own self." Whenever we, as nature leaders, point out a bird or flower, aren't we ultimately hoping to encourage this type of loving respect?...
Joseph Cornell, author of Sharing Nature with Children, writes about Nature, Intuition & Oneness in Life.

#56. ...Government can be a catalyst, an encourager, a motivator and a provider of great places for children to have fun, to exercise and to love the outdoors... We can reconnect children to nature and develop in them a passion for conserving our parks, refuges, and wildlife....
The US Department of the Interior actually had a conference on Children and Nature in 2006.

#57. ...For much of human evolution, the natural world was one of the most important contexts of children’s maturation. Indeed, the experience of nature was, and still may be, a critical component of human physical, emotional, intellectual, and even moral development. Yet scientific knowledge of the significance of nature during the different stages of childhood is sparse...
Peter H. Kahn and Stephen R. Kellert published Children and Nature in 2002. Much of the book is available online or you can order it from MIT at this web site.
#58. ...Now the American Spectator attacks the No Child Left [Inside] Movement. Funny how the author immediately discounts all of the work and research done simply because a state proposes a tax, which I'm told died in committee.The article also plugs the importance of Nintendo to kid's health...
Steven Chase notices that there are ALWAYS (justifiably or not) two sides to every issue at the Children and Nature Journal.

#59. ..."Our study finds that life's stressful events appear not to cause as much psychological distress in children who live in high-nature conditions compared with children who live in low-nature conditions...
Nancy Wells and Gary Evans presents A room with a view helps rural children deal with life's stresses (2003)
#60. ..."If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in." - Rachel Carson....
US Fish and Wildlife Service presents Children and Nature.

#61. ...Every child should have the opportunity to:

1. Discover California's Past
2. Splash in the water
3. Play in a safe place
4. Camp under the stars
5. Explore nature
6. Learn to swim
7. Play on a team
8. Follow a trail
9. Catch a fish
10. Celebrate their heritage....
The state of California has established a Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights..
...and one to grow on
#62
...The EPA Environmental Kids Club is our Web site for kids. We'll help you explore your environment and learn how to protect it. We've got games, pictures, and stories...
The EPA presents the Environmental Kids Club which is our Virtual Outdoors Children's WebSite of the Month for March.



That finally concludes this edition. Your host got a bit carried away. This is definitely the most ambitious collection he has put together. It ought to keep you busy awhile. But what a wealth of info! Thanks for stopping by. Please leave a comment. And please comments at the links you visit and let them know how you found them.

Submit your blog article to the next edition of
Learning in the Great Outdoors
using our
carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our Great Outdoors home page or the blog carnival index page.

Barb at The Heart of Harmony will host our April - First Anniversary - edition
Then our May 2008 issue will be back here at Alone on a Limb. The June 2008 issue will be edited by Tricia at Open Wide Look Inside and Miss Rumphius Effect.
If you would like to host an issue, let the Grand Poohbah, Terrell, know at thelimb[at]mac[dot]com.



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