Friday, September 18, 2009

Take a Disco Hike!

(A recent discovery of mine)

Welcome back folks! Today we are going to start a journey down a new trail for some of you. Some of you may already have been down this trail. It is a trail of exploration, and it heads through the area you live in . So, get your walking shoes on, your deer ears tuned up, and your owl eyes focused. Actually not too focused, remember to relax your eyes in owl vision. Anyway, get ready to head outside.

Todays activity is to take a walk through or around where you live. It does not have to be a 5 hour excursion. A simple walk around the block, down to the corner, around a local park, or just a walk down the road. The point is to head out and start exploring the area you live in using some of your tools. When you head out, pick a direction to go. Maybe the first walk head south, the next time east, etc. Don't worry about bringing a compass, although you could.

You are going on a Disco Hike! A Disco Hike is not some new dance craze. It is a Discovery Hike. Your goal is to notice more. Or perhaps to take an initial inventory of the things you notice. A Discovery Hike is not necessarily a naming or labeling hike. It is about walking around and looking for cool things to discover.

As you walk around where you live, simply be on the look out for things that catch your attention. It could be something you see, hear, or smell. Then go check it out. Try and resist naming the item. If you want to, write a description of the item or take a picture. That way you can look it up later. Just enjoy the process! Have fun, and maybe get a little dirty.

While you are out, you can try some of the following things:
-- Just walk and look. You could even try a walk without talking.
--Listen for various birds.
-- Notice the birds flying overhead.
-- Look for all things red, or blue, or brown, or orange (natural or man made).
-- Count the conifers in the area.
-- See if you can tell which houses have pets, and if so what kind.
-- See if you can notice 10 things you have never seen before.
-- Count cool insects!
-- See if the moon is still out.

You get the idea. If you can, try and make taking a Disco Hike a routine. Maybe once a month, or once a week. Or even take a Disco Hike when ever you go to some place new. Or better yet, to a place you visit frequently, and see what you discover!

Nature Nugget:
A quick lesson in plant parts. Nothing in great detail, but the basics that can aid you in future plant discoveries. Many if not most plants have six parts, and they are: Roots, Stems, Seeds, Flowers, Fruits, and Seeds. Now, there is more detail in these six parts, but that is for later. For now when you visit the farmer's market or the grocery store, see if you can identify which plant parts you see, and will hopefully soon eat! Have fun out there!

Virtual Explorations:
Visit this website for great website for exploring the night sky.

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