Monday, November 22, 2010

Autumn Series #10: November World

Outdoor Hour button

It is hard to believe that ten weeks has gone by since we began this nature study.  To conclude this series we went back to Moreau State Park.  That is were we began our goose study back in September.  For some reason I never anticipate too much out of these walks, but I am always pleasantly surprised by the abundance of what we are able to observe.  We had a great deal to compare and contrast.  We traveled the same trail that we explored earlier in the fall.  As you follow along with the photographs see what observations you can make.  

Here was the view over one of the small ponds in September.  

Here is the view in November 

As you would expect the leaves are off the trees and there are a limited number of water fowl in the pond.  What I found fascinating was the difference in the water.  The lack of aquatic plants in November creates a very blank austere setting.  

As we started down the path we immediately came across signs that the beaver have been hard at work.  
The boys were very excited to see what they had done.  I couldn't believe the size of the tree they were taking down.  This is not exactly a sapling.  This tree is not in the middle of the woods either.  It is right next to a well traveled path.  We discussed how and when the beavers must be working at taking it down.  

As we continued, we visited the lodge that the beaver make their home.  Here is the picture from September.  
Here it is in November.  

We did notice that there seemed to be a new log placed on top of the lodge.  We were curious as to what they planned to do with the large tree they were taking down. 

We also noticed the reeds.  Here they are in September.  
Here they are in November.  In the beaver lodge photo they can be seen in the distance.  They have mellowed to a beautiful straw color.  

We went back to the area where we originally found the snail shells.  

Here is the same spot in November.  

The water level surely has risen.  We were still able to scurry over some logs and creep out onto the thin finger of shore to look for the snails.  I reminded the boys of the warmth of the water back in September.  It was like bath water.  I had each of the boys reach into the water to feel it.  They were astonished.....

because it was crystal clear ice! 

We did find some snail shells, near the same spot we had found the inhabited ones last time.  

Our biggest shock was when we turned around to explore the other side of the shore.  

We found a dead goose. 

Here are the bones.  

We discussed what may have happened to the bird.  Some of the ideas were that a fox must have gotten it or that it was old and died.  We continued down the path.  I realized that we didn't gather any feathers for our science table.  I went back to collect some.  When I was poking around the body I recognized the culprit.  

We discussed at length the dangers of balloons for birds.  It made quite the impression on the boys.  I don't think they will ever want to release balloons again.  

Back at our house we placed all of our treasures on a plate and completed our notebook pages. 

Here are our final results.  


Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

What a wonder entry showing your November world, especially the comparison photos to your time spent there in September! I am aching to get out and do something similar but we have been plagued with a truly winter snowstorm and head colds. I can't believe it but it will have to wait for a few days for us to even be able to get to our intended spot.

I love the unexpected goose study and the connection to real life. I love it when things like that happen to make a real impression on little ones.

Thanks so much for sharing your study and for your participation throughout this whole series. I have really enjoyed getting to know your little family and how you have made the challenges fit your world.

Phyllis said...

These are some incredible photos! Makes me really wish I was there with you! Wonderful.

Quinn said...

Oh a beaver tree!! What a fantastic discovery!! I grew up with a "Beaver Lake" in my backyard and saw tons of muskrats, but never a beaver :D

Shirley Ann said...

I love the idea of taking pictures through the seasons! A picture says a thousand words doesn't it? Loved the Beaver evidence you found. we dont have Beavers in South Africa but they do facinate me.