My family enjoys a fairly relaxed pace of living so the holiday season can often feel a little more hectic than what we are use to. I love the holidays and our additional activities are usually fun stuff but it’s still… more. Is it the same for you? This month’s ‘Nature by the Numbers’ journal prompts focus on slowing down and taking the time to quietly observe. Click the image to download a printable copy.
It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, cloud watching is always a fun activity and observing cloud formations is a great way to learn about weather patterns. To explore clouds a little more, here are some wonderful resources:
- There’s lots to be found at NASA’s S’COOL page.
- Here’s a fun stop-motion video
- There’s even a Cloud Appreciation Society. I love The Cloud Spotter’s Guide and handbook by the society’s founder. If you like using smartphone apps, they have one of those too!
- This app may not be very educational but it could be fun.
- For something a little more advanced, there’s Why Do Clouds Stay Up? by It’s Okay to be Smart
Sketch the clouds you observe in your nature journal. Be sure to add a description of each cloud and make a note of what the weather was like when you saw each cloud. If conditions do not invite sitting outside to do so (right now in Maine it’s 25 degrees) it can easily be done from inside. Just find a comfy spot near a window. For an additional activity you can even trace the clouds right on the window.
With the foliage gone on deciduous trees, it’s easy to see the various branching patterns. Take a close look at the trees you have chosen to observe. Do the trunks split at any point? Do the branches form deep “Y”s? Do the twigs grow alternate, opposite, or whorled? For more winter tree silhouette fun, check out these links:
- Play around with these tree outline printables
- Try a winter twig collage. To take it a little further, try to recreate the shape of the tree from which the twigs came from.
We’ll be exploring how to identify winter trees in a future post where there will be lots more information and resources…
Moon Shadow Spotting
The December full moon occurred on the 6th so the moon is waning with the new moon happening on the 22nd. To see some moon shadows you had better do it soon! If it just doesn’t work out, try again in January. Mark your calendars for moon spotting on the 4th.