Autumnal Equinox

Yesterday we celebrated the Autumnal Equinox with our friends at the home education group. We made a communal soup on a open fire, inspired by the stone soup story. We have been doing this for three years, and is something that I really recommend to do as a group when the weather gets colder. Each family brings a vegetable (just two or three is enough, you don’t need the full bag), then you cut it and throw it all in a pot. While the soup is cooking, you can tell the story of the stone soup, as we also did. Seasonal baking is also recommended, and we were lucky to enjoy that too!

It is a very special thing to come together like that! Food cooking and sharing is  a special thing indeed, besides it’s delicious too!

our nature bag

nature bag

nature bag

nature bag

I’ve wanted to start a nature journal with the children for a long time. And for as long, I tried to think about the best way to do it…  I read some posts on Charlotte Mason’s nature study and a few times this page on getting started, but still wouldn’t take the leap. Until I told myself to stop complicating and just do it! Just do it, stop thinking, analyzing, whatever and get on with it!

So I did. I ordered a few things that I thought it would be a nice to have, made a nature bag (which happens to be the same one that I sell in the shop) and as soon as everything was assembled inside the bag, I took it with us, when we went to the woods.

Once there, we found a nice spot to sit, as we usually do, I picked up a leaf and simply, naturally said that I was going to draw it. I took the bag from the basket, the children of course were curious: “what’s that?”. We took time to go throw the things that were inside the bag and then I started drawing my leaf. They soon found something to draw too. Sometimes is me, sometimes one of them who suggests we take the bag with us, and as simply as that we’ve started a nature bag! We do not draw on it every time, but it has come in handy to identify bugs and birds.

Now, I do think that the Handbook of nature study is a great resource, specially if you subscribe to the newsletter, there are printable pages and challenges that look fun and we will be using those too. Additionally, I really like the Charlotte Mason’s take on nature study because of it’s emphases on observation;  what I’m trying to say is, if you are interested to do a nature journal too, get a bag with paper and pencils and go outside! That’s it. Ours has a handy place, hanging in a door in the hallway.

So, what’s inside our bag?

– seawhite Sketchbook ( on the first pictures we were still using Pink Pig spiral drawing sketchbooks, because I liked the hard cover and we’ve used them before, but I found them too heavy, so I switched for lighter one and they work well too)

– coloring pencils, 6B graphite pencil, pencil sharpener, a pen and sellotape

– Small Magnified Insect Boxes and magnifying glasses

– the book RSPB pocket nature wildlife of Britain (For a long time I wanted a pocket nature book that I could take out and one day I saw this one and bought it. I think the session on trees very, very small, otherwise a very good source. Since I bought that book, I’ve had a look on this one and it looks good too is small enough to carry about)

– Because of the book’s small section on trees I bought The tree name trail and garden bugs and beasties

– We’ve some of these identification postcards for a long time, so I thought they were a nice addition to the bag

Já há muito tempo que eu queria começar um diário de natureza com as crianças e durante este tempo todo pensava na melhor maneira de o fazer… Li alguns posts no método da Charlotte Mason, li umas quantas vezes esta página, em como começar, mas mesmo assim continuava sem iniciar o processo. Até que decidi parar de complicar as coisa e simplesmente começar  dito do diário!  Resolvi parar de analisar demais, de pensar demais e um dia comprei umas coisas que pensei que seria vantajoso ter e pronto. Fiz um saco para ter tudo organizado (que por acaso é um dos que vendo na loja) e assim que as coisas  chegaram, pu-las dentro do saco e quando fomos para o bosque, levei o saco conosco.

Quando lá chegámos, encontramos um sitio bom para sentar, como tantas vezes fazemos, eu encontrei uma folha e simples e naturalmente disse que a ia desenhar. Tirei o saco da natureza do cesto da cadeirinha, e eles logo ficaram curiosos, e juntos vimos o que estava lá dentro, eu depois comecei a desenhar a minha folha, e não demorou nada eles também encontraram algo para desenhar. Agora, às vezes sou eu, outras eles que se lembra que se lembra de levar o saco Não desenhamos todas as vezes, mas já foi muito útil para identificar pássaros ou insectos.

Agora, eu não quero dizer que o Handbook of nature study não seja um bom recurso, é, especialmente se subscreveres à newsletter, há desafios e outras coisas que se pode imprimir, que parece muito divertido e nós em breve começaremos a usá-los. E  também gosto muito do estudo da natureza no método da Charlotte Mason, principalmente pela importância que ela dá à observação, o que eu quero dizer é se tu também estás interessado em começar um diário de natureza, arranja um saco, põe papel e lápis de cor lá dentro e vai lá para fora! Só isso. O nosso tem um lugar pendurado numa das portas dos armários do corredor, bem à mão de se pegar quando estámos de saida.

Então, o que está dentro do nosso saco?

– cadernos de desenho Seawhite (nas primeiras fotografias nós ainda usávamos os cadernos Pink Pig porque eu gostei da capa dura e já os tinha usado antes, mas o saco ficava muito pesado, por isso mudei para estes mais leves e funcionam muito bem à mesma)

– lápis de cor, lápis de carvão 6B, um afiador e fita cola

-caixas pequenas para insectos com lupa e lupas de mão

o livro RSPB pocket nature wildlife of Britain (durante muito tempo procurei um livro de  natureza para nos ajudar a identificar espécies Britânicas, mas leve o suficiente para carregar no dia a dia, quando vi este comprei. o unico criticismo que tenho até agora é que a secção de árvores é muito, muito pequena,  tirando isso é bom. Mais tarde vi este livro e também me parece muito completo e leve)

– Por causa do tal capitulo de árvores pequeno, eu comprei o The tree name trail e outro sobre insectos

– Já há muito tempo que temos alguns destes postais de identificação, e achei que seria uma boa adicção ao saco

Lochwinnoch

Lochwinnoch is an RSPB nature reserve of wetland, with a bird-watching visitor center, and nature trails. They also have the best children’s play park I’ve seen and you can request equipment for pond dipping.  It’s only 20 minutes from Glasgow Central station, but it feels worlds away.

We go often and in any season, but the best time to visit, is probably in Spring and Summer because there are so many birds and plants to see! Having said that, I remember being there in Winter, with the children and we still enjoyed. We spent less time walking and more time inside the visitor center, but the view is beautiful and we saw some amazing birds we migrated from Iceland, with the binoculars, which is very exciting for them!

Last Wednesday, we were there once more. It was a very nice Spring day, mu older children stayed mainly in the play park with friends, while I went for a walk. We saw a swan on a nest and I loved seeing the primroses in flowers, so many plants  growing and a lot of bird activity! On the way to the train they got very excited about the flowering strawberries…

lochwinnoch

lochwinnoch

lochwinnoch

lochwinnoch

lochwinnoch

lochwinnoch

lochwinnoch

lochwinnoch

lochwinnoch

lochwinnoch

lochwinnoch

lochwinnoch

lochwinnoch

Lochwinnoch

Lochwinnoch

Lochwinnoch

lochwinnoch