Friday, May 9, 2014

Learning Along the Way

Recently, after doing a little shopping, we ran across a display for the Wildlife Rescue Center located nearby.  They had 7 birds with them and they were incredible to see!  We stood there to look at the birds for quite awhile.  Because Zander has a thing for small trinkets, we also spent some time looking at the items they have for sale to raise funds for the center.  I was going to donate the money I had on me anyway, but I did allow Z to pick out a fish-shaped pen to take home.  I was still being plagued by the injury Zander had incurred the night before so he probably could have talked me out of a lot more than a fish pen.

I had never seen a vulture in such close proximity and marveled at how gorgeous his ink black feathers were when he spread his wings.  Griffin, the Black Vulture we saw, was spreading his wings and jumping around, really putting on a show for his guests. He must have known how beautiful his wings look when he's being so grand and welcoming.

Griffin, a Black Vulture.

There was a tree branch near the front of the roped off area and when we approached I had no idea that a bird was resting in that spot.  When we finally did see him, we marveled at how well he blended in with his surroundings.  That, we explained to the kiddos, is real camouflage.  And also, the owl was so unbelievably gorgeous that I envisioned how lovely it would be to have owls living in our wooded area.  (I also envisioned a world where I could have a whole owl parliament of my very own!)

Koturi, Eastern Screech Owl

The Wildlife Rescue Center set-up was incredible.  I asked if they did any outreach programs for kids, such as Cub Scout groups.  I was given their card and directed to their facebook page.  I'd love to have a program arranged for the Scouts next fall when we start our new program year.  The birds were absolutely beautiful.

Barred Owl

It could be that I've just got a fascination for these handsome winged creatures and that may be what drives my excitement but there's so much I'd love to learn and to teach my sons about these birds.  It's great not only to find these unexpected opportunities but to use them to talk with your children about what you're seeing and experiencing.  We saw this wildlife display as we were leaving the area.  We had done our shopping and were in the van and buckled up, ready to go.  That is when we saw the birds and without a second thought, we stopped to see and to learn.

Sera, Red-tailed Hawk.

I'm not saying that it's only homeschoolers that stop to take in learning opportunities.  In fact, we saw another Cub Scout family while we were shopping and they stopped to check out the birds, as well.  I'm sure a lot of families take hold of learning adventures when the find them and that's the amazing part of learning and teaching.  When you see a wildlife display with  marvelous birds, you take the time to see them, hear about them, and talk about about them.  When you're leaving a museum and see a station set-up in the lobby to demonstrate the differences of a solid, liquid, and gas, you take a few minutes to observe the process.  Yes, it's been a long day, sure everyone is tired, but there's a scientist in a white lab coat and there's a small blowtorch on the table so you stop and watch.  Because it's awesome.  

What experiences are you going to take in this weekend?  We have a few things going on, but what I want to be sure to get done is to FINALLY plant some pumpkin seeds.  We've talked about it for YEARS and every May, the time slips away and I allow the opportunity to pass.  This weekend, though, we are planting pumpkin seeds.  And showing the boys the awesome new toy we got for the yard ..... details to come on that topic....

1 comment:

  1. Love the photos, especially the owls! This weekend? I'm hoping I actually remember everything I need to pack for our annual beach vacay. Two weeks in sunny FL. :)

    Good luck with the pumpkin seeds! Can't wait to hear how that goes!


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