Tag Archives: nature study

Red Rock Canyon State Park

Yesterday, my DH had the day off. Our original plan was to head to Frontier City since they opened up a few weeks ago, but when I went online to see what time they opened, I realized that they had opened for weekends only. Bummer. They don’t open on week days until after public school lets out, which completely foils my great plan to go during the week before school lets out.

Instead, my wonderful DH suggested a trip to Red Rocks Canyon State Park. He had been out there before with his dad, and I have been nagging politely requesting that he accompany Madison and I out there. It is about a 50 minute drive from downtown OKC, but I really think it was worth it. We had an absolutely fantastic day.

After a stop at Bass Pro to pick up the required fishing equipment, we headed west. Once there, we did some rock climbing, fished for a while (we only caught two), hiked up to the top of the canyon and looked out, and took the nature trail. We also searched for butterflies and inspected different kinds of trees. I think I probably saw at least six different kinds of butterflies, but I didn’t really get a good picture of any of them – primarily because we took Spencer (our dog) with us, and he really enjoyed chasing them away before I could turn the camera back on. On the way home, we stopped at the Cherokee Trading Post, where Madison picked out a copper/turquoise bracelet and I got a fantastic pair of turquoise earrings. They had a really nice selection of turquoise jewelry there.

So, for those of you in the OKC area, I would definitely recommend a trip to Red Rocks for a great nature filled day. You could:

  • Try some rock climbing
  • Go fishing
  • Camp overnight
  • Eat a picnic lunch
  • Bring your pet (as long as he stays on a leash)
  • Rappel
  • Take a nature walk
  • Hike
  • Chase butterflies
  • Stop at the Indian Trading Post on your way home for a great souvenir!

There is also a pool, which I assume is available in the summer, group shelters areas, and RV hookups. If we go back, I think we will bring a picnic lunch and spend a little more time there.

Here are some pictures from our trip:

To see all the pictures from our trip, visit Flickr 🙂

Green Hour Challenge #1

We literally just walked in from our nature study and I am so pumped!!  I am not at all a nature girl.  At all.  I have kind of been putting this off, partly because of our traveling, and partly because we live in downtown OKC and we really would have to drive somewhere to find some nature.

So today we drove up to my parents house.  They live in the country in Kansas.  It is a beautiful day and when we got here, no one was home.  I thought it would be a great opportunity to get started on our nature study.

I realize we are going to be behind pretty much everyone, but I am ok with that.

So anyway, our walk today went great.  We have been talking a lot about trees at home since they have been blooming outside and look beautiful, so right off I led her to the pine trees in my parents yard.  Madison found a pinecone, then we walked a bit more and saw a butterfly.  We couldn’t get really close, but I did get a picture of it – we will have to zoom way in though.  I think it might have been a monarch, but once I get my pictures online, I will give it a closer look.

Then we saw holes in the ground and I asked Madison what she thought might have made them – I was thinking snake, but first she said crab, which actually makes since because when we lived in Florida, we saw the holes fiddler crabs make in the sand on the beach.  Then she said “No wait, my dad told me about this – they are homes for Wolf Spiders.”  Wow.  I guess she has already been getting some nature study and I didn’t know it!

On the way back, we saw tons of dandelions and I was trying to explain that these yellow flowers are the same ones that turn white-ish and you can blow on them and make wishes.  We found a root system (?) that had a yellow one attached, and one that was turning white, so that was nice to be able to show her.

Finally, we saw fruit trees that were flowering.  I am sad to say I don’t know what kind of trees they are, but I guess I will ask my parents when they get home.

When we got inside, I asked Madison what her favorite part was, and she said the butterfly.  I asked if there were two things she wanted to find out more about and she said “Wait, can I pick 3?”  So she picked dandelions, wolf spiders, and trees.  I am surprised she did not pick butterflies over spiders, but that is ok with me.

I’m surprised to say it, but I am looking forward to next week.  I will be in Kansas till Tuesday, and then Madison is staying the rest of the week with her grandparents, so I think we will try to take another walk on Monday.

I am planning to add pictures to this, but I forgot my camera cord and I wanted to write this out pretty quick so I wouldn’t forget this feeling of excitement.  Once my brother gets home and I coerce him to give me the password to his computer, I will add pictures some using his memory card reader.  It pays to be in a family of dorks ☺

Adding Nature Studies…

Just as soon as I think I have a plan, it seems like I read something new that completely changes my plan. In the last week, I have been reading about Charlotte Mason and while I am not ready to move away from classical education, there are a few aspects about Charlotte Mason that I am interested in incorporating into our curriculum, like scripture memorization, hymn study, personal development and habits, and nature study. So, while I finished up my tentative 12 year plan last week, this week I am already making changes to incorporate some CM ideas into it.

I would like to start including some nature study within our regular science (although let’s be honest, I’m not really doing any science right now…). I read about the Green Hour Challenges over at Harmony Art Mom’s blog, and I think it would be a fun thing to add to our curriculum, and might even keep me a little bit more accountable where science is concerned. And, as proof that this is meant to be, last night I was at Starbucks and found the cutest ever nature journal, which I promptly bought and brought home to inspire me to start on the Green Hour Challenge…


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And for only $12.95, it wasn’t a bad deal, especially considering the $10 gift card I had from Christmas – thanks Mom!

So now my next challenge is to figure out where to go for our first Green Hour Challenge. I am thinking about Red Rocks State Park, if I can convince my dear husband to take me in this chilly Oklahoma weather, or possibly at my grandparents pecan farm if we are able to drive out to New Mexico this weekend (which we were actually planning to do if Matt can get a few days off work).