Nature Notebook – signs of spring

For, lo, the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone;
the flowers appear on the earth;
the time of the singing of birds is come,
and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land…
Song of Solomon 2:11-12 

We\’ve been enjoying the first signs of spring: flowers appearing, magpies singing, the return of birds and lizards we haven\’t seen for a while. In the first week of September we went to a spot where we could see the wildflowers coming out because we live in a valley and the signs of spring down here take a little longer to appear.

Australian Wildflowers

Introduced flowering plants
Wisteria budding – this is the blue Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) which has a magnificent show of flowers when it gets going.
Wisteria beginning to flower
Freesias growing freely at the edge of the road, beautiful perfume…these are one of the first spring flowers that we see in our neighbourhood. Originally it was a native to parts of Southern Africa.

 Cultivated freesias in a garden…pretty but no scent

 A Male King Parrot (Alisterus scapularis) – our favourite bird. It is the only Australian parrot that have a completely red head – the females have a completely green head and breast so it\’s easy to tell them apart. September is their breeding season and we had a group of them eating the purple berries from one of our lilly pilly trees.
We\’re almost at the end of our Insect Studies using William Gillies\’ very good little book, First Studies in Insect Life in Australasia.  If you\’re looking for a book that you can just pick up and use each week then I\’d recommend this one. I\’ve really appreciated using these older books in our nature study as they take a literary or narrative approach, as opposed to a more clinical way of presenting the natural world. A literary approach helps to foster that vital aspect of wonder which is often neglected with older children. I\’m looking forward to working through another of his books I have on the shelf for our next focussed/special study.
The facts are important, classification is important, and correct naming is of great value; but far more important than all these is the eye that observes, the mind that admires, and the heart that rejoices in the wonder and beauty of Life. 
W. Gillies

9 thoughts on “Nature Notebook – signs of spring

  1. Love the examples of y'alls nature journals. And I love sharing with my family all the birds and plants that, while so common to y'all, are so exotic to us here in Florida! Yesterday, we did a \”first signs of fall\” nature walk and found goldenrod, acorns, and sycamore and sweet gum leaves changing color.


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