Cattails Part 1:: Winter Nature Study - Eva Varga

January 10, 20104

It is my sincere hope to do a much better job in planning and following through this year. Particularly in the areas of composer & artist study, nature study, and believe it or not, science. I tend to let these topics drop when we get busy and this frustrates me.

In an effort to combat this tendency, I purchased Barbara McCoy’s Winter Nature Study with Art & Music Appreciation. Upon opening the ebook, I was immediately impressed. It is so complete and everything is laid out so concisely … I couldn’t wait to begin!
Friday morning, we went down to the park along the river to do the first winter nature study which focused on cattails – the only location I could think of with cattails accessible. Prior to departing, I read the suggested pages aloud from Handbook of Nature Study and printed off the accompanying notebook pages. Upon our arrival, we were disappointed to see that we were not in fact able to reach the cattails and would thereby not be able to investigate it more closely (i.e. pulling it apart and looking inside). Therefore, we made due with our observations from a far.
I had a difficult time getting Buddy to focus. He was much more interested in poking at the ice along the perimeter of the pond. He did manage to do a quick sketch but I know he can do better. Sweetie opted to do her sketch in her nature book rather than on the notebooking page that Barb developed. I did the same. Shortly before we departed, Sweetie started to express her frustration in her drawing abilities. She is a perfectionist – like me – something we both need to work on overcoming.
Her frustration and Buddy’s distraction proved to me yet again that we need to bring drawing and nature study back into our regular activities. We all need more practice.


  • Pebblekeeper

    January 13, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Great frustrated minds think alike? I just pulled out our drawing books this morning! I like a simple drawing book from timberdoodle, then we have a couple of Think! books, and a simple one from Draw Write Now. Should spark some time of working on skills. 😉

  • Barb-Harmony Art Mom

    January 15, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    I am so happy to see your study this week. I think you did a great job of getting started again and this week and I really love that you used your own notebooks to record your experiences.

    I hope that the ebook continues to inspire you and if you want additional encouragement, follow the links on each challenge and see what other families are doing. It keeps me going from week to week.

    My best suggestion is to keep it simple. I am the biggest advocate of simplicity there is.

    Thanks for sharing your link,

  • Michelle

    January 16, 2010 at 12:52 am

    I have struggled to get in the mode of doing nature study too. I have the fever now, though! I hope the same for you, too! Looking forward to seeing more!

  • Alycia in Va.

    January 19, 2010 at 12:47 am

    we also did the cattail study, but I haven’t had time to post about it yet. Looking forward to seeing your nature adventures with Barb-Harmony.

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