childhood, family, Naturalist

Geeky Kids: Adventures in the Park

If you have a park near you, be sure to check it out. I’m not really talking about the little parks that are a playground and not much else – no, these are the big, spacious places with trees and water and hiking paths…

Running with the dog
Running with the dog

Next step, pick up a good guide to wildflowers and one for insects (rarely are the combo books good, as they hit the showy species and leave out the more obscure. Then, if you can, fishing poles. We’re using a cheap rod and reel set, since this isn’t about catching, it’s about learning to fish. Finally, if you have it, a camera. It doesn’t need to be a DSLR, I’ve had cheap (>$100) point and shoot digitals that did darn good macro. Or, since this is what it’s really about, pictures of the kids in action.

Fishergirls, learning how to cast.
Fishergirls, learning how to cast.

Don’t forget sunscreen. Hats, even, if your geeky kids will wear them. Books to lounge in the grass and read. A bug-catching set-up if you are going to be carefully observing and releasing. Obviously, this doesn’t all need to happen in one trip to the park!

Exploration can be lots of fun, discovering the 'secret paths.'
Exploration can be lots of fun, discovering the ‘secret paths.’

Running around and playing with the dog is great – running around without the dog, if you haven’t got one – and then after, some quiet contemplative time relaxing.

Time to relax and enjoy the day.
Time to relax and enjoy the day.

And if your mother is planning to take both Field Botany and Invertebrate Zoology, and is honing up on her taxonomy skills, when you get home you can help her identify the new things you saw, or if you have the guides with you, start your life list while you’re at the park!

Ohio Dragonfly
Swift Long-Winged Skimmer, Pachydiplex longipennis taking a break from hunting.
Ohio Dragonfly
A Low-flying Amber-wing (Perithemis tenera) perched on a bladderwort bloom in the pond.
A Least Skipper (Ancyloxypha numitor) drinking in the moist margin of the pond.
A Least Skipper (Ancyloxypha numitor) drinking in the moist margin of the pond.
Casting! So elegant
Casting! So elegant.
Ohio Moths and caterpillars
Sycamore Tiger Moth, Halysidota harrisii, on, of course, a Sycamore Tree
Ohio Dragonfly
Another dragonfly! There were so many of them. 

2 thoughts on “Geeky Kids: Adventures in the Park

  1. I was thinking about making a movie about fishing, but I had trouble with the cast.

    Spending time outdoors with family, and prepping for school subjects, awesome good use of time.

Leave a Reply