Did you know that my son is now a nature know-it-all? He has been going to vacation camp at the Roaring Brook Nature Center all this week and Nathanael isn’t the only one that has learned a lot about the outdoors.
Let me back up the story, a little. My son’s nature obsession started several months ago. He was introduced to an educational cartoon on PBS, called Wild Kratts. It’s about two explorers who travel around the world saving wildlife and teaching their young viewers about the creature kingdom. The imaginative part of the series is when the explorers figure out each animal’s “creature powers” and turn into a superhero of sorts with their high-tech creature suits.
I noticed my son starting to rattle off animal names and facts, so when I told him about a nature camp going on during April vacation, he couldn’t wait to go! Nathanael calls it his Wild Kratts school and that he will be turning into an explorer at the end of camp.
A the end of the first day of nature school, he came up to me with some crafty flowers he made and a decorated branch. Nathanael informed me that we needed to place the branch in the window to tell the trees it’s time to bloom! The teacher then went on to tell me that it is a Palm Sunday Swedish tradition (Palmusunnuntai) and the pretty branches are called Vistas. Did you know about this?
As we walked to the car, Nathanael started to ask me a barrage of nature questions. Now, I hear the phase, “Did you know…” everywhere I go. Waking up in the morning, walking down the stairs, hanging in the kitchen, walking down the hall, walking up the hall, while I’m taking a shower, making lunch, making snack, making dinner; Nathanael proclaims animal fun facts all day and all night…and I LOVE IT. He has placed life cycle charts he got from school up on the refrigerator and gives me an animal lesson any chance he gets. My child is officially a walking wilderness Wikipedia!
Here are my favorite nature tidbits from Nathanael, this week!
Did you know…?
- Bees drink nectar from flowers.
- There is an African and an American Bullfrog at camp.
- Frogs put jelly around their eggs so that the predators don’t eat them.
- Salamanders can grow tails.
- Tadpoles grow legs.
- Robin eggs are blue.
- Frogs pee on animals so they don’t get eaten.
- Before frogs are adults, they are froglets.
- Butterfly eggs are orange.
- Frogs can hear from the front of the head and the back of the head.
- Salamander eggs are green.
- This is a chrysalis!
- When birds hatch from eggs, they don’t have any feathers.
- Gila Monsters swallow whole eggs, in the desert. (I had to slip in one Nathanael heard on Wild Kratts)
So, the next time you are searching for a something to do with your kids, look for a nature center near you.
They all rely on guest admissions and donations to keep their facility going. I also learned this week that nature centers do more than just talk about animals. They rescue, rehabilitate and prepare local wildlife to return to their natural habitats. In the words, of my little Wild Kratt, “Nature schools save creatures and help save the Earth!” What a great thing to know, Nathanael.
Hey, can you keep a secret? When Nathanael gets home today there will be a surprise waiting for him. A gift for our honorary little explorer – his very own creature power suit! (Fist pump)
Did you know that it is Earth Day next week? Enjoy April 22nd with a hike, a nature walk, gardening, or planting a tree, and I’ll see you on the creature trail!
Disclaimer: Do not use photos without permission. No solicitation going on here, folks. It’s just me and my thoughts. Thanks for reading!
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