Nature Explorer

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#1000HandsDigIn! at KidSpace Museum, Pasadena May 7, 2016

Filed under: Environmental Education,Everything Under the Sun,Gratitude,Inspiration — explorergarden @ 6:11 am

I’ve been trying to post pictures of kids’ hands discovering in nature over the last two months. Last week I visited KidSpace Pasadena to share my new book Dig In! and my new twitter campaign #1000HandsDigIn and loved their new Arroyo exhibit. An arroyo, in case you don’t know, is a dry creek bed. A beautiful arroyo runs through Pasadena, and this exhibit is about the ecosystem of the arroyo. It meets all of children’s needs to experience nature with all of their senses. Here are photos of spaces where children can play in wet sand, mud and clay, make adobe bricks, weave with flowers, climb an eagle’s aerie and wear an eagle costume, go under a waterfall and splash in the water, build a sand-moving machine with dry sand and build a fort with sticks, hide in a nest of sticks and read a book, play music on nature’s own instruments. It was truly an amazing, inspiring and beautiful place for children to blossom and connect with nature.

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Spanish Shawl January 29, 2016

Filed under: Animals,Environmental Education,Everything Under the Sun,Inspiration — explorergarden @ 5:32 pm

Is there anything more elegant than this nudibranch, a Spanish Shawl, fluttering in the tide pool at sunset? My photo is not great, but the being before me was magnificent last week in the low tide tide pools north of Scripps Pier.
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Inspirational Compost! April 3, 2015

Filed under: Environmental Education,Gardening,Inspiration — explorergarden @ 6:35 am

This week was a week to deal with our compost in the school garden:

  • moving a bin — and finding a million mice;
  • aerating the large pile
  • watering the pile
  • writing about everything we saw.

Here are some of the things we wrote about. Compost is very inspirational! Who knew?

 

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Swimming Through the Cave September 14, 2014

While I have been swimming the mile at the La Jolla Cove most of my life, I had never swum through the Caves until this year. Several caves open up under the cliffs, and one is wide enough to swim through. We were surrounded by sea lions who had pulled themselves up on the rocks, including this mother and pup. The current was strong — and a little scary — but it was an exciting adventure. With water so warm this year — over 70 degrees — we can stay in the water for a long time. What we see in the water changes every day — today I saw an odd jelly fish with a blue rudder on top and, of course, sea lions everywhere.

cove 10 cove 6 cove 9 cove 5 Cove 3 Cove 2

 

Bugs in the Garden

Filed under: Animals,Environmental Education,Gardening — explorergarden @ 8:07 am

It is school garden season again, and this year I am teachinggardening to grades K – 5. We’ve been busy cleaning up, and have found lots of very wonderful bugs in the process. Fig Beetles dig in the dirt of lay their eggs — and so I find their babies, grubs, in the garden beds. Harlequin bugs, a little bug I haven’t identified yet, and cabbage butterflies,  are among our latest many-legged friends to visit the garden.

This was a record year for weeds in the Explorer Garden! A whole crop of amazing parent, staff and community volunteers helped get it ready to use again.

This year’s garden plan will include a garden remodel, courtesy of a team of 9th graders from High Tech High, and our Whole Foods Foundation grant. They will raze our garden to the ground, pull out rotting raised beds, and create a garden plan using Sketch Up. We can’t wait for the work to begin — sometime in mid to late October. Meanwhile, we can enjoy the garden as it is!

IMG_2620cabbage butterflyfig beetle 1fig beetle 2fig beetle larvaharlequin bug

 

Tiny Sierra September 2, 2014

Filed under: Animals,Environmental Education,Everything Under the Sun,Inspiration — explorergarden @ 12:06 am

yosemite frogJust returned from another beautiful week at Tuolomne Meadows in Yosemite researching my picture book biography of Ansel Adams, to be titled “Antsy Ansel”, which will be published by Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt publishers in 2016. Experimented with the various zoom lenses on my point-and-shoot camera and focused on the smallest, most amazing aspects of nature I could find:

vvvvv tiny sierra 5 tiny sierra 4 tiny sierra 6 tiny sierra 2 tiny sierra 8

 

Potatoetry Reprise May 11, 2014

Filed under: Environmental Education,Gardening,Inspiration — explorergarden @ 7:08 am

Our potatoetry project was a great success. Every 2nd grader got to know a potato as a sensory object. Each child wrote a poem, and then we collected a line from each poem and formed them into a single group poem. The children wrote their lines on a painted tire, and then we planted potatoes inside the tires. Here’s a link to a blog post I did for National Poetry Month! http://www.ekristinanderson.com/?p=8814IMG_1162potatoes 4

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