Outdoorosity - Inspiration and Information About the Outdoors

Inspiration and Information About the Outdoors

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When I was in elementary school, I read the book Rascal and fell in love with raccoons. These clever animals are not only at home in the woods, but they are so adaptable they often take up residence in neighborhoods and cities too.  Raccoons are medium-sized mammals that are easily recognized by their black masks …

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We have a small terrier mix that we adopted from our local humane society about seven years ago. “Max” loves to be outdoors and often follows my son around the backyard or through a nearby field. Several times my son has commented how Max has actually made a trail through the yard, where the grass …

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White-tailed deer are common in North America, making their home from Southern Canada all across the continental U.S. except for the Southwest. They are easy to recognize with their brown or greyish coat with white around the eyes and nose and on the throat, stomach, and underside of the tail. But there are some things …

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 If you like to take photos, you’ve probably got a growing collection of pictures of friends, family, events, and selfies. But have you ever thought of capturing wildlife with your camera, too? You’d be surprised what you can find when you’re on the lookout for wildlife. Here are a few examples of what I’ve captured: …

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When we were growing up, my brother, sister, and I used to go outside on summer nights and try to catch fireflies. Today, watching them flash in the evening is still one of my favorite things about summer. Not long ago, while we were camping in a valley, the fireflies flashed in the trees all …

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A nature journal is a book or notebook for recording thoughts, feelings, ideas, and observations about the natural world. Creating nature journals is a great way to get your class connecting with the outdoors. Recording observations and thoughts in a book helps you get to know their natural surroundings. Sometimes it’s hard to care about …

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crows in field

Every once in a while, a huge flock of crows comes our way. They fill up the yard or the tree branches, making quite a racket. They are gathering together to sleep, and their big group is called a “roost”. No one is sure why these birds do this, though it may be for protection …

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Writing spiders are large black and yellow spiders often found in backyard gardens. Some legends say that if you speak someone’s name to a writing spider, the spider will write that name when it weaves its web. Other stories say that if you disturb or damage the web, the spider will write your name. Although …

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When I see a small animal that seems to be in distress, my first reaction is to catch it, take it in, and try to help it. But over the years, I’ve learned that’s not always the best thing to do. When I was about 10 years old, I came across three baby squirrels at …

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Canada geese are one of the best-known types of water birds. Their long black necks with black and white markings on their heads make them easy to recognize, even from far away. But although many geese still live in wilderness areas, others have moved into the cities. They take up residence in neighborhoods, parks, and …

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It’s the holiday season, which means lots sparkly lights, colorful packages, and pine cones! If you haven’t noticed them before, you’re sure to see them now – on wreaths, in baskets, as ornaments and centerpieces. But besides adding to the holiday cheer, pine cones have an important job. They protect the pine tree seeds from …

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‘Tis the season for spotting mistletoe! Not only can you find it hanging from the ceiling, you can also find it high up in the trees. It’s not hard to spot; just look for bunches of green among the bare tree branches. But did you ever wonder — what exactly is mistletoe?  Mistletoe is a …

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Depending on where you live, you probably see fewer birds during the winter months. Many species migrate to more temperate areas, some traveling hundreds of miles. But there are those birds that stay behind, even in the coldest weather. Cardinals are some of the easiest to spot with their bright red feathers. Others you might …

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This week, try making your own homemade kite. Then, on the next windy day, head outside to fly it! Here are some great sites for lesson plans on how to construct the kites:  “The Diamond Kite – Lesson Plan.” National Museum of the US Air Force  “Building a Geometric Kite – Group Kite-Building Lesson.”  John …

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Follow these steps to create your own chickadee drawing! Follow these steps to create your own chickadee drawing! To begin, draw a line curving downward for the top of the bird’s head.   Next, place your pencil on the end of your curved line on the left-hand side. Draw another curved line. This line will …

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When the weather begins to warm up, turtles are on the move. They may be searching for food or mates. Many of these turtles are females looking for nesting sites to lay their eggs. What should I do if I see a wild turtle? The best thing you can do when you find a turtle …

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You don’t have to go to a campsite to go camping. This weekend, set up a tent in your own backyard. Putting up a tent together helps encourage listening skills, cooperation, and teamwork. Your kids will enjoy hanging out in the tent during the day and the adventure of sleeping in the tent at night.  …

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Have you ever wondered how animals stay warm when it’s so cold outside? One way mammals stay warm is by developing thick coats for the season. Fur traps air, creating a layer of insulation between the cold air and the animal’s skin. The thicker (and oiler) the fur, the better it insulates. Do you use …

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Get crafty this weekend! Head outside and find some smooth rocks  — any size will do! Then set up a painting area, and get started!  Here’s what you need:    Smooth rocks Acrylic craft paints in a variety of colors Brushes Containers with water for cleaning the brushes Paper towels Disposable plate Newspaper   Here’s …

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If someone were to ask you to name an animal that hibernates, you’d probably say “a bear.” But for many years, some people did not consider them true hibernators. When animals such as chipmunks and ground squirrels hibernate, their body temperatures drop drastically. A bear’s body temperatures does not decrease nearly as much. And, unlike …

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