Monday, February 25, 2008

Searching For Sandhill Cranes

Last Wednesday after breakfast, our read aloud time and math, I announced that everyone needed to pack their nature journals and supplies and that we were leaving by 10:30. We loaded everyone up and headed out in search of sandhill cranes. I knew they came through every year but I had forgotten until I saw a couple of flocks heading toward the wildlife refuge in a nearby town.

We arrived at the refuge pictured above and to our disappointment we only saw Canada geese. As we took turns with the binoculars and munched on some snacks, we saw a few small groups of cranes fly over and continue out of sight. Just when we were about to give up and pack it up, a small group came in and we were able to watch them land. Then a couple of wildlife resource agents came up. After giving us a bunch of literature, they told us of a nearby town where there were lots more cranes. So we packed up and headed out.

We were greatly rewarded with the next location. There were many large flocks of sandhill cranes and we even saw an endangered whooping crane among them. We made a bit of a menace of ourselves stopping in the middle of the highway and peering through our binoculars even though we tried to keep one child looking out for traffic headed our way.

It was too cold to draw in our nature journals outside, so we came home and spent the rest of the afternoon drawing, writing and then I read aloud from our new book, The Animal Dialogues.

This is one thing I love about homeschooling - the freedom to take advantage of learning opportunities at the spur of the moment. As much as I love books, I also love going and seeing and learning from real things.

No comments: