Our Family

Our Family

Thursday, December 15, 2016

An Unplanned Nature Study Opportunity

Last night I wrote an article about fun Winter Nature Study activities.  I had no idea that we would be presented with a unique nature study opportunity today.

Several weeks ago we contacted someone to come and cut down two dead trees in our backyard. This morning they finally made it out to the house.  This provided quite a bit of morning entertainment. Christian, Lily, Anthony, and Emmie were quite interested in watching the man with a chainsaw in the big bucket truck cutting down the limbs and it was quite exciting to see the tree coming down.

All the excitement caused us to have a late start on our school day.  We finally got to work and got most of our morning work completed.  Lunch was a bit late because we finished our work late.  I had several things planned for the afternoon.  But, I fed the children first and sent them outside.  I sat down to eat and a few minutes later they came running back in with the dog. They had found a nest beside the tree and it was occupied with a baby squirrel. Beside the nest we found three more babies, one of which was dead.  

We put the babies back in the nest and I called a friend at Arkansas Game and Fish and asked her what, if anything, we should do for the squirrels.  She gave me some care instructions for them and Emmie and I set out to head to town to get a heating pad, medicine droppers, and kittens milk.

We made a bed for the babies in our laundry room to protect them from the cat.  I put them on a scale to see how much they weigh (around 5 ounces) and discovered that the children were correct and they were flying squirrels.

Two are eating quite well, one is not.  These babies have to be fed every 2-3 hours.  Alex has volunteered to help with the night shift.  We believe them to be 2-2 1/2 weeks old.  If they survive we will release them once they are old enough to care for themselves.

The children also found loads of ladybugs by the big tree.  They did not find any bees.  This tree had an enormous hive not too long ago.  Lily was quite busy sketching, while Anna was not very impressed with the tree being on the ground.

We did not get any of our planned work completed, except for math.  This was not what I wrote about in my article by the way, although I did talk about observing wildlife and sketching trees. Homeschooling is always an adventure!

Happy Homeschooling!

No comments: