Monday, September 21, 2015

Autumn Scavenger and I-Spy Jar

It’s AUTUMN!!!  I’m just so excited!  This is the first time in seven years that we’ve had a fall season that lasts more than a week or two!  (It’s super short in Fairbanks where the snow is already falling right now)  The colors and pleasant crispness and all the harvest activities are so appealing to me!
Behind our home are two trees side by side: an apple (see my previous blog post about these treasures!) and a horse chestnut.  The later took us a while to identify this summer, but now it’s perfectly obvious as it drops it’s fruit to the ground.  And it’s shedding its leaves quickly!  Dumping might be a more appropriate term.  

So our big guy started raking the leaves all together this week into a big pile.  He did pretty well before getting distracted and I was able to finish it up into a 3-4 foot pile.  I had to explain to them what to do, then ready…set…GO!  They sped to the pile and jumped right in!  Oh, they were thrilled!  Squealing and giggling, throwing the leaves in the air and burrowing down in.  By far the best part of their day!
Clancey getting in on the joy
Sometimes you just need to get outside and get some fresh air!  We were having one of those days earlier this week, and everyone was grumpy.  In fact, our oldest was seriously fussing that he did NOT want to go out!  I insisted because I knew it was just the medicine we needed, though I didn’t even know what we’d do once we got there.  We just started wandering and picking up tiny treasures, and as we went the mood improvement was drastic!  There were feathers, acorn hats, pebbles, lichen, pinecones, and bark.  Each new item was celebrated.  We got back to the house with a bagful and I wondered what we could do with our collection?

I had a freshly washed honey jar and we tucked them all away in there.  It was so fun to look at them all through the glass and remember finding each one!  We’ve hung on to it now as an I-spy jar.  They will try to pick out the items they found or I’ll ask them to find something white, round, sharp or whatever.  It’s really been quite fun and such a simple form of entertainment!  You could do this with anything!  I even thought about picking up litter along the road for some tidying and color variety.  Or maybe toys that get left out!  Even if you just kept it to natural items, it would look different depending on the season.

Then just yesterday I read about this Nature Pal Exchange and it looks so fun!  From what I understand, every season you can sign up to have a sort of pen pal in another climate.  Then you go on a nature walk and collect little treasures just like we did earlier.  You take them home, label them, and send them off to your nature pal while they do the same.  Then you get to discover nature treasures from a completely different region!  How fun!  And I love how they keep the focus on God's creation and how we can be responsible with it.  This is their first year and they're already supporting charities with the monies made, too!  I’m going to see if we can get in on this next one and I’ll let you know how it goes.  If you get a chance, check out their Instagram account, too.  Some of the collections are absolutely lovely!
Happy treasure hunting!

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