Nature Study

OHC- Frosty Weather

Joining Barb For The Outdoor Hour .

Weather is almost an inexhaustible subject for nature study! There is always something different happening, especially this time of the year as we move from Autumn into Winter. At the moment in England, we are experiencing some VERY frosty weather. Yesterday we awoke to temperatures of -3 and everything covered in a delicate frosty white. By the early afternoon the frost had melted away as temperatures rose to just above freezing.

Today we awoke to temperatures of -6 (Celsius) and again a winter wonderland look. I decided that today we would set our books aside for a few hours and take a frosty walk and see natures artwork. We were delighted with the delicate crystals that surrounded each leaf, and that decorated every possible surface around us. Such beauty! Twice Miss J-L tried to bring a delicate work of art to show me and twice the ice crystals melted in a flash. We discussed how very fragile this beauty was and how we could only really admire it with our eyes.

As we walked towards the lake, we could see from afar that it was frozen. Not just the edges – the whole lake! The ducks sat on top of the ice and we watched a swan fly across the icy surface and come skidding to a stop not far from us. The poor thing’s feathers got stuck to the ice and held it captive for a while. However his persistence in struggling to free himself paid off and he was soon skimming across the frozen surface once again.

It must have been really cold during the night because the ice around the edges of the lake was thick enough to support the weight of Miss J-L! What fun.

Eventually my very frozen feet dictated that our walk was over and we headed back to our home. After grabbing something warm to drink, we set to working in our nature journals. As the girls recorded something of interest to them from their walk,

I read from one of my favourite nature books, Nature Smart, about how frost forms and what it is as well as why only the top of the lake was frozen. It made for interesting reading. We learned that the colder water gets it rises, freezes and floats. This defies the usual law of nature that says cold contacts, gets heavier and sinks and warm expands and rises. It obeys this law only until a certain temperature. Once it drops below this temperature it defies these usual laws and instead rises and freezes. The icy layer creates a sort of blanket which enables fish, frogs etc to move to the bottom of the lake and thus survive until spring.

We found a poem written by Robert Louise Stevenson called Winter Time of which we copied down the last verse onto our pages. We discussed how we could portray the delicate frost on paper. Miss J-L chose to outline her leaves in silver glitter and Miss V-L chose to use a silver gel pen. Both look lovely ;o)

(15) Comments

  1. karen says:

    Please send some of that chilly cold weather over here!!! I love the water photos 🙂

  2. Unknown says:

    So proud of you for making time to enjoy your frosty world…sometimes you just have to make it a priority. Love you images in this entry and your girls are brave to stand on the ice. Loved hearing about your follow up and seeing your journals too. Thanks Shirley Ann for sharing with the OHC.

    1. Shirley-Ann says:

      Thanks Barb. The girls would have spent much longer on the ice if I wasn't freaking out on the sidelines – LOL. I allowed a quick 'skate' around the short pier, rushed a couple of snaps and then it was onto firmer ground for them! :o)

  3. Cristy says:

    Oh my! I love your nature pages. The children's art work is beautiful. Great job on the collage of frosty items, too. Kudos.

    1. Shirley-Ann says:

      Thank you Cristy – the girls really enjoyed working on their frosty pictures!

  4. Pebblekeeper ~ Angie says:

    What a beautiful walk! I love the images of the frost. Thanks for sharing with the OHC!

    1. Shirley-Ann says:

      It really was a beautiful walk Angie. Almost magical :o)

  5. dstb says:

    I love the photo collage and the notebook pages. I like how you seized the moment. I need to do more of that!
    Sarah

    1. Shirley-Ann says:

      Thank you Sarah. I hope you have lots of opportunity and lots of seized moments in 2013!

  6. Unknown says:

    Nice pictures! I especially like the frost!

    1. Shirley-Ann says:

      Thank you Robin. I also like the frost – it is so delicate and pretty :o)

  7. Leslie aka Mother Robin says:

    Shirley Ann, your photos of frost were mesmerizing. I really thought at first they were black and white images. You certainly have a photographer's eye for capturing beauty in the everyday. Great notebooking too. Outlining in glitter? Love it!
    My latest post Lamest Throne

    1. Shirley-Ann says:

      Thank you for your kind words Leslie :o) I do love photography. When my girls were small I ran a small photography business – taking portraits etc. But photographing nature is just up my ally. Who knows, perhaps it is an avenue to pursue once our homeschooling season comes to an end :o)

  8. Leslie aka Mother Robin says:

    Hi, Shirley Ann!
    Today we were reading some winter poetry, and when I read this I couldn't help thinking of your beautiful frost photos. So I had to share it with you. It is by James Russell Lowell, from "The Vision of Sir Launfal" (which is a very long vision!) Maybe your girls would enjoy using it for some of their copywork!

    Down swept the chill wind from the mountain peak,
    From the snow five thousand summers old;
    On open wold and hill-top bleak
    It had gathered all the cold,
    And whirled it like sleet on the wanderer's cheek;
    It carried a shiver everywhere
    From the unleafed boughs and pastures bare;
    The little brook heard it and built a roof
    'Neath which he could house him, winter-proof;
    All night by the white stars' frosty gleams
    He groined his arches and matched his beams;
    Slender and clear were his crystal spars
    As the lashes of light that trim the stars;
    He sculptured every summer delight
    In his halls and chambers out of sight;
    Sometimes his tinkling waters slipt
    Down through a frost-leaved forest-crypt,
    Long, sparkling aisles of steel-stemmed trees
    Bending to counterfeit a breeze;
    Sometimes the roof no fretwork knew
    But silvery mosses that downward grew;
    Sometimes it was carved in sharp relief
    With quaint arabesques of ice-fern leaf;
    Sometimes it was simply smooth and clear
    For the gladness of heaven to shine through, and here
    He had caught the nodding bulrush-tops
    And hung them thickly with diamond drops,
    Which crystalled the beams of moon and sun,
    And made a star of every one:
    No mortal builder's most rare device
    Could match this winter-palace of ice;
    'T was as if every image that mirrored lay
    In his depths serene through the summer day,
    Each flitting shadow of earth and sky,
    Lest the happy model should be lost,
    Had been mimicked in fairy masonry
    By the elfin builders of the frost.

    1. Shirley-Ann says:

      Oh wow! Thanks Leslie. What a lovely poem. It is one that deserves to be read a couple of times over. There is so much imagery in it! Using it for copywork would be a good way to ponder on the imagery. I think I will add a verse or two to my journal :o) Thanks again for sharing.

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