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We went for a walk this afternoon to enjoy the changing of the seasons. Fall has pushed its way in over night and here we are. The golden rods are either in full bloom or have already started to develop their seeds, same for the Joe Pye weeds. The wild strawberry leaves, the dogwoods, water avens and raspberries are starting to show the first changes of colour from green to deep red. The wild grasses in the meadows and open fields have browned, drying seed heads whipping in the wind and while the thistles and fireweeds have begun releasing their fluffy winged seeds on the breeze. When the wind whips you can look up in the sky and see clouds of them floating in waves, they must travel quite far with the strong winds we have been getting this year. It is days like this that it really hits home with how truly wonderful it is to have such a beautiful region to call home particularly under current circumstances. Our younger children will not be returning to school this year due to the pandemic, fortunately there is so much informal learning that can take place in our own backyard that does not require worksheets or textbooks but which will result in so much more real knowledge, but perhaps more importantly memories that they can carry with them in the future.
Our son got to use the big camera and with some basic instructions on how to focus and set the shutter speed he got to experiment with it and explore the world from the house on the hill to the riverbank, not a long walk but lots to see in a whole new way with a camera in hand. and we went exploring taking pictures of a beaver dam, wildflowers, rocks, fossils, bones, bear and wolf tracks and even some bear scat! A little bear has been making himself at home in the area, he’s cleaned up all the dogwood berries and beat me to most of the chokecherries.
The following are some of the resources we used on this trip and to be honest they are well used items in this household.
- The camera was our son was using was a Nikon Coolpix P7000 that we purchased second hand from Henry’s Camera Store. It is lightweight and the telescoping lens in non detachable, making it fairly safe for the kiddo to use while still giving him the opportunity to learn about more advanced camera settings and uses, it is also my personal favourite after the trusty cell phone camera particularly because of the telescoping lens feature.
- Edible and Medicinal Plants of Canada
- Amazon Link– this is an excellent book and we purchased a copy in the summer of 2019 for $30, demand for this title seems to be pretty high at the time of writing and the price for the book had increased dramatically on Amazon and only secondhand copies were available for the crazy price of $91-$144!
- Indigo Link – at the time of writing, this book is out of stock online but physical copies were still available in some stores locations and is still listed at $29
- iNaturalist – phone app available in your iStore or Play Store on your phone
- The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers, our version is an old discard library copy but you can get an updated one at Indigo