A Nature Study

Recently we took a field trip to our city’s science and nature center. The nature center has several tours available but our group opted for the guided prairie tour, which turned out to be wonderful! I have been wanting to incorporate more nature studies into our homeschool so this was a perfect opportunity. Our tour guide was great and very knowledgeable about the land.

Before we got started on the tour the visitors center had lots of animals and other fun things to look at and touch.



After checking out everything the Visitor center had to offer we got started on the tour. It wasn’t long before we got our first lesson. What NOT to touch. Our guide pointed out some poison ivy. This was probably the first time that I had seen it up close. Although I have experienced it in a very up close and personal way once in college.

poison ivy

Then we were off on our walk. Round trip the tour was about a mile.


Here our guide is pointing out the many uses for cactus as well as explaining that the Indians once used the leaves of the Yucca plant for rope.


Right away we saw our first animal!


If I had a better memory I would remember what this plant was called. But I don’t. Although I do remember that the Indians used it’s leaves for medicinal purposes.

medicinal plant

This is a gall. I was fascinated by the explanation of this gall. A wasp stings the tree and then lays it’s eggs on a particular spot. The tree then has a reaction and forms this gall around the eggs. The eggs then have a safe place to feed and grow until it’s time for them to break out. Pretty cool huh!



We also had the opportunity to learn about these cute little rodents, the prairie dogs. They build their houses underground much like we do. I think we will be studying these animals a bit more in the near future.



We can’t forget the buffalo. Wouldn’t be a prairie without them!


Can you see the cute little bunny? I barely got a picture of it before it hopped along it’s way. We had lot’s of opportunities to discuss animal adaptation and camouflage while we were out there.


Wild Grapes! If only they were ready to be picked.


this was about the time on our walk where Olivia was starting to wear down and it was beginning to get ugly. She did pause for a half smile for me though Winking smile 


We got to see several different kinds of animal tracks…and scat {ahem} that was a new vocabulary word for this city girl. I refrained from taking a picture of that. Your welcome.



Before we called it a day, we came across a family of armadillos. They were just out and about scavenging for food. It was nice to see one alive…lol.


We survived! But only because Madelyn slept almost the entire time.




If your looking for field trip ideas head over to HSBA


One Response

  1. They didnt have a gator or a golf cart for the tour?? No wonder Livi got moody!

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