365 Nature Walks: Day 31

This series takes you through an entire year of our nature walks and is part of our non-profit project #Earthschooling365 at www.Earthschooling.orgThe photos and posts in this series are all copyrighted. Please do not share or re-print them. Instead, share the link to this blog with your friends.

Along the way I will be sharing our favorite photo of the day, an inner work meditation for the day, photography assignment/tip for the day, nature walk theme for the day and a short verse for circle time (children) or meditation (teens/adults). We invite you to “walk along with us” this year, take some time to use the inner work meditation, be inspired by the nature walk theme of the day and perhaps even start a photo series of your own. To join the community on FacebookTwitter and Instagram please tag your photos #Earthschooling365. To receive these inspirations in your e-mail inbox daily please subscribe to our blog alerts HERE. Don’t worry about missing days – you can join us as many days as you want this year!

Every day we will post one day. We will leave up 2 weeks of nature walks at a time. At the end of two weeks each nature walk will be transferred to the Lifetime Member’s Only Blog and will be accessible only to Lifetime Earthschooling Members. If you want to own the entire series without enrolling a an Earthschooling Lifetime Package Member you can purchase the entire series for only $35.00 (for the entire year!)

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You can start your journey any day. You do not have to follow our schedule. However, we will leave up the first week of the project all year so you can follow the steps to get started.

#Earthschooling365: Day Thirty-One

Click on Photo to Enlarge

Click on Photo to Enlarge

Inner Work Meditation (Heart): I’ve been on so many nature walks in the same area that for a while I started to think I had seen everything. In fact today I almost didn’t go out. It was raining and my first thought was, “well I’m not going to see anything in the rain that I haven’t seen before and most animals will be taking shelter anyway”. But then I kept my commitment to going out every day and went anyway. And I rewarded with an amazing gift – a turkey vulture! Now if you are a small mouse or bird you don’t see turkey vultures as gifts but I find them fascinating as they are so ugly close up but when they fly they look like magical mythical creatures of great beauty. So to see one was amazing for me. Then I realized I had almost skipped my walk today. I had almost missed this amazing experience. Take ten minutes today to mediate on how often you might be doing this. Have you avoided experiences in the past week because you assumed they would be negative ones or “not worth the time”? What would happen if instead of approaching the experience with the “worst possible case scenario” we approach it with imagining the best that could happen? How would your life change if you approached more things in this positive manner?

Nature Walk Idea (Head): Today your nature walk assignment is to prepare a nature walk preparation area. Prepare yourself to go out in any weather. Create an area that has everything you need for your walk and leave these things in that area. Don’t use these items to go to the store or go on a trip with (this is the perfect way to give old beat-up coats or boots a second life). These items are only for your walk. This way you know they will always be there waiting for you.

Our nature walk prep area has a coat rack with light coats, thick coats, mittens, hats, snow boots, rain galoshes, high boots to wear in the stream, tennis shoes and sandals. I even keep a very lose pair of sweatpants there just in case I need a warmer layer on the bottom. I also keep a fanny pack there with some emergency cash and other first aid items as well as a camera that I only use on nature walks.

None of these things leaves the area unless we are taking a walk. It doesn’t matter what kind of weather is outside – we are always prepared to go. This has made a great impact on the amount of time we spend outdoors every day. When we had to search for boots and coats and supplies we were less likely to make the effort. Now that everything is hanging right by the door it takes moments to get ready so it is very encouraging.

To learn more about preparing the ideal nature walk area as well as classroom area see our tutorial, Early Childhood Mini Training Seminar.

Photography Notes (Hands): Your assignment for today is to take more photos. The secret to getting that great photo is not to wait for a perfect photo to happen but to start taking photos before that perfect photo happens. Sometimes the perfect photo never does happen. But don’t wait for it and miss out completely. And remember that each time you click the shutter you are practicing your skills and this will eventually result in better photos. In the case of the turkey vulture today I immediately started taking photos when I saw it. I didn’t know how long it would be there. So my first photos were very blurry and the bird was very small and mostly hidden among the branches. But since he stayed in one place I was able to get closer and closer until I got this photo. Eventually I realized I was never going to get that “great” photo I wanted because there were too many branches in the way. But when I looked at the difference between my first photos and my last one I was very happy. Pick something today and take a lot of photos of it. What do you learn as you continue taking more and more photos?

Verse: Turkey Vulture Haiku
Copyright Kristie Burns

Gargoyle grimace
Troll talons and gremlin gaze
Ebony angel

*These poems have been created for many purposes – from early childhood circle time verses to inspirational or expressive. They vary from day to day so you may find the way you use them or enjoy them also varies. If you would like to set these poems to music consider our tutorial: Creating Your Ow Waldorf Verses or Finding Your Inner Voice.

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