Sunday, January 9, 2011

Winter Wednesday Outdoor Challenge - Winter Colors

Outdoor Hour button I have been very excited to get back to our Outdoor Hour studies.  Barb has created a new e-book to go along with last year's book.  We have not used either book, and I am feeling like we have been blessed two-fold with these resources.  We will hopefully be adding a second formal day to our nature studies to cover the material.  If you have not seen Barb's site here is the link.  http://handbookofnaturestudy.blogspot.com/

We focused on winter colors for our first outing.  We had a little warm snap that melted most of the snow, so it was not the white blanket effect I envisioned.  Our cattail study which will follow this entry, was completed in a foot of snow.  It was a much different experience.

For our color study we headed down to the banks of the beautiful Hudson River.  We actually drove to a small island that is usually teeming with bird action-  from bald eagle nests to droves of Canada geese.  I have been planning our outings to be quick outside exposure, due to the fact we are dealing with three and under here and the weather is mostly in the teens each morning.  I am pleased to say they have all proved to be pretty hardy so far.  
The first colors we noticed were the beautiful blue crisp sky and sparkling water, the puffy white clouds and golden brush.  


We noticed the red berries and pink and purple brambles in the woods.  


As we walked I was thinking how much this seemed like a late autumn color study, but then we noticed some things that changed my mind.


Steely grey-blue...


and white ice.


But then it even seemed spring-like due to the snow melt, as patches of chartreuse poked their head through the white. 
We noticed these bits of green as well...



We observed our old friends the black, white, and grey, Canada geese on the water....


but then a new bird discovery....the colorful Common Merganser.


Here is our field guide close up of the male and female.  We spotted both on the river, but the females are just stunning.  The head is a feathery rust color.

When we returned home we completed the notebook pages while we warmed up with some hot drinks.


Overall a great study for us.  Really no modification needed for preschool age children.

2 comments:

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

These Winter Wednesday challenges are going to be a great addition to your week and they are so open ended that you can easily use them with your preschoolers. I loved working through the ideas last year and even though my boys are older, it helps to reopen their eyes to the beauty and wonder in the winter world. It also gives me the push to get outside when it is cold...even for a few minutes.

Love your geese and ducks....we saw a mallard on our color walk and his green head was brilliant too. Forgot about him in my post.

Thanks for sharing your link and your outdoor time.

Our Side of the Mountain said...

Wonderful colors! We'll be going out in search of colors in 18 inches of new snow soon. A lot of trudging! LOL But it'll be fun! Love the winter color pages!

Jessy - stopping in from handbook of Nature Study
http://oursideofthemtn.blogspot.com