One of my favorite games we play at the Nature Center is the metamorphosis relay.
The relay allows kids to act out the change that happens when a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. It is simplistic after all the other ways we teach them about how this happens, but mostly, it gives kids the chance to roll on the ground, cheer for each other and run while flapping their wings and laughing. For instructors, it’s a time to let go of trying to control the group and get concepts across. It’s just fun. It is a reminder that
During times of uncertainty, it is essential to recognize the constants that provide joy and groundedness to transcend politics.
Studies have shown that a connection between children and nature is one of the essential components to a brighter future. In fact, it has been shown that this connection may be one of the key factors in improving public health, education and economics as well as human happiness.
Milestones are often daunting and deserve recognition. But, at the same time, they are also just days in the year, and life keeps on going.
I celebrated my 50th birthday over the holidays, and leading up to it, I had a long list of things I wanted to change by the time I was 50. But, the day came and went, and I was still the same person doing mostly the same things.
Almost every child, when asked if they could wish for any three things around the holidays, usually includes a perfunctory “I wish for peace on Earth.” Yes, maybe this is thrown in as the final wish in case Santa is listening, or maybe it comes from a heartfelt place of hope that we can all just get along.
Within the animal world, behavior runs the gamut across different species. Some animals, like the polar bear, have been known to eat their own young. Others, such as elephants, nurse for up to six years, then stay with their mothers for 16 years. Some animals live in groups with intricate social networks, such as wolves, dolphins and lions. Others live solitary lives within set territories, such as mountain lions, sloths and badgers.
When people use the expression about seeing things through the eyes of a child, it is because children can often observe the world without any baggage.
I was reminded of this when my daughter, Celia, discovered a horned worm among our tomato plants and named it “Bob.” She made a home for Bob out of a coffee can with holes poked in the top and filled it with tomato leaves and dirt. I came home from work and she was holding Bob in her hand to observe his sticky feet.
I have to admit that the best smell on Earth to me is the smell of lilacs. And, this has been a banner year.
The smell isn’t just from putting your nose directly into one, although that provides an immediate endorphin rush, but just the general smell wafting through the air all over town. I guess second and third on my list are sun on pine sap and, despite the cliche, freshly cut grass. For me, it is virtually impossible to be down about much of anything when these smells are in the air.
Environmental education is an idea that should be fostered throughout an entire life.
It’s easy to think that the concept is meant mostly for primary school students being taught to learn and explore the natural world. Durango Nature Studies has embraced this idea through our ever-evolving Children Discovering Nature Program in all Durango grade schools. The sense of place that students embrace, along with a true love of learning science standards in the natural world, has been the basic building block of the DNS philosophy.
Every February, Durango Nature Studies holds its annual Winter Social at Carver Brewing Co.
This social allows people who participate in the different realms of DNS to actually meet each other. People can get so busy working that they don’t know who they are working with.
Humans are defined as social animals, but within our species are introverts, extroverts and everything in between. Given a free day, some people can’t wait to have alone time, and others fill a free day with more
The new year is upon us, and the whirlwind that was the holidays is often hard to let go of. The hustle and bustle push us in so many ways that it’s hard on the body and mind to abruptly halt.
With the new year comes resolutions, and it’s easy to stay in a frenetic state as we delve into accomplishing them. The fact is that change takes time. Accomplishing resolutions is a slow process that takes fortitude and consistency. To move slowly toward a goal is the best way to achieve it, rather than bounding ahead and burning out. Making permanent change is a race better won by the slow and steady tortoise, rather than the hapless, distracted hare.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued an official El Niño warning for this winter based on temperatures in the Pacific Ocean.
An El Niño doesn’t always mean colder temperatures, but it can affect weather patterns in many ways. Tentatively, scientists are saying that the southwestern United States can prepare for more snow. If we do get a much-hoped-for wetter winter, how might that affect the adaptations of much of our wildlife?