Bees, Birds, Butterflies, Dragonflies, Frogs, Lizards – none of them pay taxes, but they all work hard for a living, as well as benefiting humans in a multitude of ways—financially as well as aesthetically. Our bees and butterflies busily pollinate, and our birds, dragonflies, frogs and lizards heroically decimate our unwanted insect population. Although faced with hectic daily schedules, we find time to appreciate the joys of studying the fascinating, infinitely complex natural world. From our Eagle's Nest in the Midwest, to Eagle's Landing on the Carolina coast, our family has studied God's flora and fauna in a variety of environments. However, we can go beyond simply observing natural environments. In a small but not insignificant way, we can provide beneficial, healthy wildlife habitats.
On the coast, I've found that although my vegetable garden had limited success this year, my bee and butterfly garden, predominately planted with fragrant, harvest colored hues of orange, red, yellow, pink and purple, spectacularly succeeded in attracting our tiny local wildlife. I hope to continue to better understand and benefit our local environment, as our weather cools and days shorten in our new climate zone. Therefore, I’ve continued to seek out free and frugal natural science resources, to aid my personal learning and provide educational opportunities for students of all ages. Here are a few free information sources which interested me. Hopefully, they will prove helpful to you in your home and school, also:
- Audubon resources such as the North American Bird Guide and Christmas Bird Count, https://www.audubon.org/
- AZA Educator Resources and Frogwatch USA, https://www.aza.org/frogwatch
- Better Vegetable Gardening, “Identifying Beneficial Insects”, https://www.bettervegetablegardening.com/beneficial-garden-insects.html
- Great Background Bird Count – Do you know where your birds are this year?--Learn natural science, math, map and geography skills, https://gbbc.birdcount.org/
- Habitat Network, "The Wildlife Value of a Messy Garden, https://content.yardmap.org/learn/wildlife-value-of-a-messy-garden/
- Harvest to Table, “Beneficial Insects”, https://harvesttotable.com/dragonfly-damselfly-beneficial-insects/
- North American Butterfly Association, includes information about butterfly biology and habitats, https://naba.org/
What resources have you enjoyed, in your outdoor studies? If you wish, share them with us, as well as your school and family science study experiences.