Silent Nature Walk – Winter Nature Study with the OHC

Winter Wonder Collage

  • Take a Winter Weather Walk and observe as many things in your neighborhood as possible that are special about the winter season.
  • Advanced study: Challenge yourself to take a walk keeping completely silent. Go as a family or all alone.

After checking our weather for the next few weeks, we realized that a winter weather nature walk was not going to happen any time soon. Our Winter Wonder Walk became our Silent Nature Walk instead. This was part of the advanced study suggested for the first challenge from the More Nature Study Book 2 ebook plans.

Winter Wonder walk - Silent Activity
We loaded up the Kona dog and headed to our favorite local trail. Mr. B started off ahead of me so we wouldn’t be tempted to talk. This was a good plan since it also separated us a little as we walked and it seemed that we were all alone which allowed the sounds of the woods to be easily heard.

Ferns along the trail
A few of the things I observed on our Silent Nature Walk:
1. Greenness of the ferns growing alongside the trail on the hillside.
2. Dry trail with acorns..crunching leaves.
3. Birds singing in the woods. The only one I recognized is the Northern Flicker. I also heard some wing flutters coming from the bushes lining the path.
4. The buzz of an insect which I couldn’t see.
5. I noticed a pile of feathers where some forest animal had made a meal.

Winter Wonder walk Advanced Notebook Page
Mr. B wrote his observations on a notebook page when we got home and I was impressed with the different things he noted that I missed as noted below:
1. He heard five birds.
2. He noticed the river’s rushing sound and how it changed as we walked down the canyon.
3. Scrunch of the needles and the pat of the dirt.

He brought home an acorn to sketch into his journal and I brought home a few samples of ferns, an acorn, a weed, and a feather.
Wood fern - back
I was fascinated by the spores on the back of the ferns. I won’t detail here all I learned from the Handbook of Nature Study on ferns but we will in the future have a challenge featuring ferns. I found a wealth of information in Lesson 195 on the fruiting of the fern. There is always something new and interesting to learn.

Western Sword Fern - back
I identified my ferns as the Wood Fern, the Western Sword Fern, and California Maidenhair Fern.

Winter Wonder Walk Journal
Silence. It is a great way to glean a little more from a walk if you can give it a try. I have to admit that several times on the walk when I couldn’t see Mr. B or the Kona dog that I was a little uneasy. It can be too quiet sometimes. I think we become accustomed to having background noise in our life from the computers, the clocks, music, traffic, and each other. Seeking out the quiet is something I think we should do on a regular basis and I will be adding this to future challenges, at least for the advanced study option. I encourage you to grow your children into the habit of spending a least a few minutes of every outdoor nature study time being silent and really listening.

More Nature Study #2 button

It is not too late to join us for this new series of nature study challenges using the Handbook of Nature Study. All of the challenges for this series are gathered into an ebook format along with custom made notebook pages. Click over and see the details and join us this week for a new posted challenge on Friday.

Comments

  1. Beautiful Journal Page! Our walking trail makes two large circles, so I sent Nate ahead the opposite way, to meet in the middle. I wondered if he looped the smaller circle because we didn’t see him, turns out, he turned around and followed us, taking pictures of us and listening to our conversation. He was pretty quiet, because in 20-30 minutes of walking, neither one of us saw him! Ha! This was a simple enjoyable study. thanks!

  2. I really like the idea of a “silent” nature walk, it would be such a treat. Just don’t think my six kids would be able to that right now. There are moments on our walks when I’ll ask that they just listen for several seconds in complete silence and I’m amazed at the sounds they’ll pick in such little time of concentration.

  3. we love the ferns this time of years. perhaps it’s because they are one of the first things you notice on a nature walk. They are so green and so full of life in the heart of winter.

    I need to work on my children and “silence” I find myself telling them to be quiet and listen more often than not. They are so excited and so, so noisy.

  4. Please remember that my children are in their late teens so silence is an option at this point. It hasn’t always been this way. :)

    Really though….silence is tough for me. I find myself narrating my walk and I know that many moms are like me and we talk a lot. Just having us be silent would contribute to a quieter walk. I work on this all the time for myself, letting my boys experience the walk without hearing my words all the time.

  5. I love your posts! I look forward to having them in my email. They are like a little gift. My children have really benefitted from them too. Thank you so much!!

  6. I love the idea of taking a silent walk on the same trail and comparing notes later!

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