Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Nature Walk: Elizabethton's Covered Bridge Park

One of the things that struck me when I first started reading Charlotte Mason's writings about Nature Study was that she talked about taking Nature Walks to the same place many times to compare and contrast what things stayed the same and what changes occurred from time to time. Not only do students become more and more familiar with the area, they also begin to feel a part of the place; begin to own it. They can even write about the nature walk from memory.
One of our favorite Nature Walks is at the Covered Bridge in Elizabethton, Tennessee.

 On our nature walks, we often take magnifying glasses or lately, my pocket microscope, so that we can see things we might not even see or notice otherwise.

Sometimes we take binoculars or this pocket "telescope" to see things far away.

 Some bring their journals...
 some just start out exploring...
 and investigating.
 We point out to each other our discoveries...
 and explorations.
 They sometimes bring me their finds to take home to sketch or put in their nature journals. It is sometimes hard for the younger ones to sit down during our walk to sketch and I have found that it is easier to bring a little of the walk home with us instead.

 Sometimes we try to figure out the answers to mysteries, such as this one. We found this rock and we wondered what these round black things were on it. Quentin thought maybe they were insect droppings since this rock was next to a rotting tree. Some thought that perhaps it was a small bird's droppings since they seemed in a pattern made from having dropped from above. Some thought maybe they were seeds, but we didn't see any similar seeds nearby.
To solve the mystery, we all looked closely around the area for clues.
Steven found this weed nearby and broke open one of the pods and found that they contained seeds that matched the black mystery balls. It was fun supposing and telling why we thought the different guesses were right, and then finding out through a search, the answer. Now to find out what kind of plant this is...
is a mystery to be solved another day.


  1. We haven't been able to sketch outside yet since there's so much else my son wants to do outside than to sit and draw, so I think bringing something indoors to draw later is a good idea.

  2. We love walking in the creek - we are so fortunate that our best and closest walking place is just two blocks from our house!!

    It looks like a wonderful place to walk.

  3. What a great park! We'll have to make a trip there. We haven't been able to sketch because of our weather here. Today, it was pouring! It's supposed to rain this week and then the temperature is going to drop the beginning of next week. Maybe we'll get more snow :) Have a great week.

  4. Anonymous15.1.13

    Love all of it! :) It feels warmer just by looking at the pictures. I want to go there! :) :)

  5. I was thinking mouse droppings for the black balls. So many posts to catch up on now :) This isn't a bad thing.


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