Monarch Adaptations to the Crown (Flower)

Species families are so interesting to me. When Darwin was traveling around the world visiting islands and observing species, he noticed how different things were on the different islands. Species had adaptations evolved specifically to their individual environments. This became more clear when he was looking at islands, rather than the larger continents, because islands

Make “Movember” for the Manatee

Now that we are well into November, mustaches are everywhere you turn. I know they are for raising awareness for mens health and various other causes, but seriously if you are under 65, or not a cowboy, Super Mario, or Magnum PI,  a mustache just makes you look creepy. It seems most of the people

Wonder Wednesday 21: Natural Insect Repellent

Happy almost summertime Wonder Wednesday!! School’s out (or nearly out) for summer which = summer bugs. Lightening bugs, cicadas, love bugs, and lady bugs, yes, but the dreaded no-see-ums and mosquitos too. Don’t let those little blood sucking scoundrels keep you from enjoying the garden in the early mornings and evenings! Keep them at bay

Birds of a Feather Learn Together!

If the children in your life are anything like the ones in mine, they love to pick up feathers. I’m not sure what exactly attracts children to feathers. It could be the idea of flight, the lightness, the colors, or their usefulness for decorating everything from their hair to sandcastles. Whatever the reason, feathers are

Transitions and Transformations

Transitions can sometimes be tough and this year’s winter/spring transition has been less than smooth for many with spring being such a tease and winter lingering. So instead of resisting, how about start exploring transition itself? Transitions and transformations can be incredibly interesting if we allow them to flow around us rather than being attached

Real Lichen Aren’t Werewolves

A couple weeks ago I was hiking with a group of people, including my sister, and I was talking about lichen, the green stuff that grows on rocks and trees, and she thought I was talking about werewolves. I was SO confused, but it turns out that there is a popular show with a species

Beautiful Biodiversity

Hiking in the mountain woods has really gotten me thinking about he importance of biodiversity. Not that I don’t always think it is important, of course! Yesterday I saw 4 types of moss and 2 types of lichen growing on one small area of a rock. Amazing. I can’t get enough of these moss and

Wonder Wednesday #13: Honeycomb Exploration

Wonder Wednesday # 13: Honeycomb Exploration  (Lesson inspired by and adapted from  The Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock, p.397) The honeycomb is a magnificent construction that has been the muse of artists, architects, and engineers for centuries. It’s hexagonal design is amazingly strong and perfectly efficient for both the bees’ honey storing

Wonder Wednesday #12: Connecting to Place through Scavenging

Scavenging? This month I want to get you out and exploring place because with school starting, we are all in a new place of some sort, so what better way to get to know place and each other than through a scavenger hunt!! Wonder Wednesday #12: Place-based Scavenger Hunt Research Project This isn’t your average

NCI’s Soil Scientists Curriculum!

The “Back to School” weeks in the summer are bittersweet for even the most enthusiastic teachers and students. We are excited to begin new projects, but sooo reluctant to let go of summer. To help add to excitement of new projects, this month I will be posting some fun outdoor curricula to enhance the lessons