Monday, November 2, 2009

November Colors : 2

This painted lady butterfly was visiting my butterfly garden on Monday afternoon. It was aware of me because it kept flying away as I moved in closer to photograph it. First, I saw it on the lantana after watching several busy bees on the butterfly bush and an anole on the milkweed. After the butterfly had had enough of me, it flew to some shrubs that surround our deck (I don't know what they are). Some of their leaves have turned burnt crimson, and I thought they offered good camouflage for the butterfly who blended-in to the greenery with similar colors.

I only spent about two minutes looking at this little garden area. In that small amount of time, I saw bees, two anoles, and the butterfly. I'm sure that this was the tip of the iceberg. The growth in the lantana and butterfly bushes is thick.

I'm reading a book called No Child Left Indoors: Creating a Field Guide to Your Schoolyard by Jane Kirkland. She suggests introducing children to nature observation with "20 second nature breaks." I tried this on the way to my car after work today. In that small amount of time as I crossed the parking lot, I saw a dragonfly, Towhee, and an unknown butterfly. The sky was a cloudless blue and the wind was gently blowing. The temperature was pleasantly cool.

I am excited about using this book and its methods and suggestions with students and with my own children. My problem is not finding 20 seconds here and there; rather, I'll want to spend the entire day observing, recording, drawing, photographing, researching, and asking questions. I told my daughter that if I were to go back to school again, I might want to learn to be a science teacher. As it is, I'll work creatively to integrate my growing interests of environmental studies into my library work.

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