Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bird Watching at Bolsa Chica Wetlands

We have been holed up in the house for a week. 2 storms dumped enough rain to keep us indoors, but mostly we've been sick. Well, William and Lilly have been sick. Just too sick to go anywhere, or do much of anything but lay around--as much as a 1 and 3 year old lay around.

James and I haven't been sick, but we are suffering from cabin fever. The other day James said, "when are we going on a nature hike? We haven't gone on one in forever."

Actually, it had only been a week, but I was still glad to hear him say it. It's nice to know that one of the main events in our home schooling is not just done cause I say so, but is looked forward to and enjoyed. Of course they love the running on the trails, the gathering of and playing with sticks, the trees to climb the dirt to find. But it is becoming more than that.
The more time we spend in nature, the more we notice and appreciate. It has taken a bit of coaxing, but the boys are actually starting to sit and draw the plants and birds we see on our nature hikes.
We call it nature study. We're all learning a lot. And we like it. Who could ask for more?

Our last nature hike was at Bolsa Chica wetlands in Huntington Beach. Bolsa Chica is a bird sanctuary and there were lots to enjoy. Here is William's favorite bird, the Snowy Egret. We see him, and his "cousin" the Great Egret all over the place. William is always so excited to point him out.

This guy, whose name I have still not looked up, is an amazing diver. See those back legs? They look like a frog when he swims under water. The kids loved watching him dive for fish and were amazed by how long he stays under.

And of course, we all liked the funny looking pelican.

But the most fun to watch were the Terns. We were up on a bridge where water was flowing in from the ocean and so there were a lot of fish swimming around. There were all different sorts of birds swimming, diving and catching fish. The Terns, though, did these amazing dive bombs and consistently came up with fish in their beaks. What a treat for us to watch.

Looking for fish.
Getting ready to dive.

Going under!

Got one!

Here's some of our crew. I love how dirty they all get during our nature hikes. It seems like dirt = fun for these guys.

On our hike back to the cars, our cactus whisperer found this piece from a prickly pear cactus. She is the same one who touched that velvety looking cactus on another hike, but wasn't bothered one bit by the tiny hairs covering her hand. These didn't bother her either.
She happily took this one home to show her daddy and display on her nature table.

It was another great day of home schooling. Out in the sun and the wind, with out friends and enjoying creation. When I was in school we went on only a few field trips a year. My kids go on one a week. How fortunate we are to be able to do this.

And how thankful I am that tomorrow we'll be able to join our friends on another adventure. We all need to get outside!

1 comment:

jennifer said...

we too, have sadly been neglecting our nature days. sick, vacationing, sick again, vacationing again, rainy days, catching up. blah. we hope to join you guys tomorrow at the beach! :)