Reading Time: Our Fave Nature Books

Reading Time: Our Fave Nature Books ~ Good Reads for Kids


We have quite the book worm in our house, and honestly, reading is pretty important to hubby & I too. We started reading to Sam as a baby, in the toddler years we could pass hours just reading stories to him, and reading time is built into our day-to-day routine even now. We’ve definitely got a lot of favourites! Some are pretty common, others might not be, so that’s why I thought I would start to share some of our good reads.

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Painting With Nature

Painting with Nature ~ Activities for Preschoolers ~ By Bubblegum Sass

Sammy and I recently had quite the fun afternoon painting bits of his nature collection and then painting with bits of nature. For quite some time now, he has kept a nature box, where he stashes away things he finds on our daily adventures, from twigs & leaves to stones & moss. Feathers have their own special place. The actual box where he stores all of this is overflowing and so I knew that some arts & crafts projects were on the horizon.


Fur Family

We recently made an interesting discovery out at our family cabin. A furry, cute, four-legged, discovery. A family of foxes has taken residence up in a den right under the deck of the cabin. My father saw the first signs of it, freshly dug holes under the deck and around the garden and lots of droppings all over the deck and boardwalk. So my dad set up the game camera right near one of the holes and there they were, a family of foxes.

We’ve captured lots of good footage (over 2000 images) of the four whelps playing and the mom & dad bringing tasty treats to the den. We hope to keep the game camera set-up, if the curious critters will leave it alone. Hubby & I went out to the cabin on the weekend and found the game camera in the grass, abandoned by the little critters after they pulled it off the log it was strapped to and had some good play time (one can only guess the antics that pursued). Here are some pics from the last few days, while the camera was still functioning (*warning* there are images of prey that the foxes have hunted):

Fox whelp sitting
Fox family playing

Fox mama
Mama fox

Fox mom and whelp
Mama fox and whelp with food

Fox whelp walking
Mama fox with rabbit
Mama fox with her prize rabbit

Curious fox
Curious fox checking out the game camera

End of May (pt.2)

The month of May and the 30 x 30 Nature Challenge wasn’t just a time of discovery for Sam. I got to experience a lot too and most of it acted as a good reminder to enjoy the small things. Sitting down at Sam’s level to play outside made me see all the small things that, as adults, we often go right past: rotting bits of pine cone, the smell of bark that has fallen from a log, moss growing in between boards on a patio, just how pretty some pebbles are. I was also reminded that it’s okay to get wet & dirty sometimes. It’s definitely not the end of the world.

One lesson learned, that tasks in the yard CAN get done eventually with Sam’s “help”, you just need to be patient & remember how completely NEW everything is to him. He needs the chance to really explore each thing you do (like sanding an old bench or planting flowers).

One thing I really want to keep in mind over the coming summer months, is just how enjoyable it is to go outside in the evening after Sam has gone to bed. It’s a great way to wind down and take a deep breath, especially after long days.

Here are some of the things that I took notice of while we spent our time outside:

Lots of tiny details…
Orange flower
Moss growing
Tiny sprouting plants
Sprouting veggies
Curly lettuce
Forest of green onions
Blooming lilacs

New flower and veggie beds planted…
A new flower bed planted

Apple blossoms falling like snow
Apple blossoms falling like snow

End of May (pt.1)

I’m a little behind with this post, seeing as it is already into June. Hubby and I were hit with colds over the weekend, which left us crashed on the couch. We’re both on the road to recovery now and trying to catch up with everything.

I previously shared my intent to participate in the 30 x 30 Nature Challenge. And so, for the month of May, Sam and I tried to get outside each day & delve into nature for at least 30 minutes. We did pretty darn good considering the chaos of our day to day routine (we’re now entering week 5 of the kitchen renos). I missed getting outside 3 or 4 days and Sam missed just one (a particularly wet & busy day). The best part though, is that, in general, we spent more like 45min-2hours outside each day. Especially when we were staying at the cabin, where it felt like we lived outside.

It was a fun challenge and a good way to remember to get out of the house, change the scenery of the day, do some discovering with Sam, and enjoy getting dirty. It made me feel a bit more energized (although that tends to happen at this time of year anyway) and did relax me a bit. I can’t claim some dramatic change though. And really, that’s not why I took on the challenge. Being out in nature has always been an important part of my own upbringing and something that I want to ensure Sam experiences too.

And so let me share, some of the things that Sam discovered during the month of May: earth worms, lady bugs, moss, and pine cone bits discarded by squirrels. He discovered the joy of drinking water from the garden hose, using big boy tools like rakes and wheel barrows. He also discovered that pebbles sink in water, while pine cones & driftwood float. There were probably so many more small discoveries going on with my little boy that I didn’t take notice of. May was definitely a month of learning & new experiences!

Sam gardening with daddy
Sam with watering can
Sam watering plants
Sam with pebbles
Sam digging in garden

Yarn scraps left for the birds
Yarn scraps left for the birds

First steps

I started my first day of the 30×30 Nature Challenge with a short trip out to the family cabin. I needed to check on things out there and took some time to go for a walk.

It was in the isolation, listening to the trees creak, that I realized just how much pain I’m still learning to let go of. The cabin originally belonged to my oldest brother. When he was still alive, I only had a handful of happy memories out there. The rest were clouded by anger. Once he passed away, it was easy to let go of some of that anger and forgive him. The pain that still lingers these days is in the wish that he was here to forgive me. I miss him.

With each strong breeze that blows out there, with each swaying tree, the cabin becomes more of a comfort. I wrap myself up in all the things that he touched, while making new memories with my little family. The cabin is becoming a place where his past and my present can live together in some kind of harmony.

I can’t wait to see the memories that Sam will have of this place.

Alberta forest and mountain scape

Prayer flags


Old log fence

Rusty horseshoe

30 x 30

Tomorrow is May. You might not necessarily know it, looking out my sewing room window. It snowed yesterday and through the night. There’s about an inch on the ground this morning.

I’ve decided to join David Suzuki’s 30×30 Nature Challenge. For 30 days, starting May 1st, I have committed to spending at least 30 minutes out in nature each day. Now that’s not a huge commitment, really, considering that in nice weather, I like to get outside anyway. Especially with Sam in the mix these days. He absolutely loves being outside! But on days where there’s snow sitting on the ground (AT THE END OF APRIL!!!), going outside for a nature adventure, will be challenging.

We’ll see how it goes. We will soon be without a kitchen and in the middle of chaotic renos, so going outside to the backyard, the park, or cabin will probably be a very welcome escape.

Yellow spring crocus(I know I recently used this photo on the blog, but I couldn’t resist posting it again. A little sign of my hope for spring.)