There will be no photos directly relating to the title of this post.
My Mom and I have started walking in the mornings again. This is the time of year when we always start walking, and we make a valiant effort until it gets Really Hot. And then we quit walking until there’s a chill in the air. But this year, we have a couple extra ladies in the Clarksville Walking Committee, so I’m hoping we stick it out a bit longer due to the incentive of extra company!
Not meaning to be gory or anything, but the other day, while walking on the gravel road, I noticed a Dead Flat Frog. Whenever I see one, it is absolutely necessary to point it out and mention that there is a Dead Flat Frog, thanks to a little girl I met about twenty years ago. Many moons ago, I volunteered to teach a 4-H Cloverbuds group during our homeschool support group meetings, and found myself trying to round up and contain a small mob of five through seven year-olds in about a 10′ x 10′ space at the end of a hallway. It was rather challenging. I found that the best thing to do was arrange everybody in a circle, which was about two kids deep in most places. (It got a little complicated when we had to color or draw.) And in that circle, EVERY SINGLE CHILD had something they wanted to tell me before we got started with our lesson. It was quite interesting, actually, and sometimes we even had a few minutes left at the end to do some 4-H stuff!
At one Cloverbud meeting, five year-old Meagan, who was (and most likely still is)
full of energy and excitement, could not wait to tell me what was new with her that week…
“Miss Kim! Miss Kim! Miss Kim! I saw a DEAD FLAT FROG!”
Evidently, a poor amphibian had met its demise in her
driveway,and with the help of moving vehicles and the
warmth of the sun, had become a Dead Flat Frog.
I wasn’t quite sure how to show the proper amount of excitement about Meagan’s discovery, but one thing I knew… She had been spending enough time out-of-doors to be observant of nature. She had time to poke around, look for rocks, ponder insects, get her hands and knees dirty, and discover the Dead Flat Frog. And that’s important for kids. Probably for us grown-ups too. 19th century educator Charlotte Mason wrote much about the importance of time out-of-doors, where children can experience nature first hand, and she encouraged families to do this on a daily basis, and then to grab a journal and draw what they saw or jot down notes about the day’s expedition.
So… as you look forward to the lazy days of Summer, plan to go outside…
… Get up close and personal with nature…
… Spend some quiet moments with your sketchbook…
… And take a bit of nature back with you for later…
… Just maybe not any Dead Flat Frogs.