Finding Florida Through Nature

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Our no textbook journey to find our state continues into nature.  I’ve told you our plan and our book list which keeps growing by the minute.  Another great way to learn about our state is by going out and exploring nature.  There are so many ecosystems in our great state that we will not be without something to study.  In fact, we could spend years studying them and still not get to everything.

 

Beach Summer 2012
Beach Summer 2012

 

We are doing  Apologia marine biology  this coming school year for science .  It only stands to reason that we will spend a ton of time at the beach learning about oceans and coastal tide pools.  This particular time of year is known for leatherback and loggerhead turtles  hatching then going into the ocean.  There’s dolphins and manatees and sharks, oh my.  Seriously , we could spend the entire year just studying oceans.  Don’t be jealous of our amazing luck!

 

Deer along the scrub pines
Deer along the scrub pines

 

That would not give us a very realistic overview of our fair state though.  Florida is so much more than its beaches. It’s wetlands and swamps.  It’s sandhill cranes and scrub pines.  It’s brackish water springs and palm trees.  There’s alligators, snakes and bobcats.  All of these things make Florida too.  Let’s not forget the giant bugs that come with a mild climate.  Some of them are quite yucky and fly too.  Blech!  Not my favorite study but a necessary one to give a complete picture of our fair state.

 

The sun peeking through the rain clouds
The sun peeking through the rain clouds

 

Lest we forget the dry mild winters with the soaking summers.  Hurricanes and tropical moisture are things we encounter in Florida.  Protecting the aquifer is something we hear discussed on the news.  Barometric pressure and humidity levels are common terms used on our weather reports.   Sinkholes are a common occurrence as well.  One swallowed an entire lake near us just a few years ago.  Crazy huh?

Watching the gators at Gatorland
Watching the gators at Gatorland

We have our work cut out for us.  A visit to the Everglades along with some great books will bring wetlands to life.  An airboat ride will help cement that in our memories as well.  Spending time every week  in the great outdoors with our cameras and nature notebooks is at the top of my list for the new school year.  I want this to be the year that we not only learn about our great state but also when we learn how to love nature.  Loving nature will bring many benefits that will serve us well in the future.  Above all , it will give us some fantastic memories of this school year.  I can’t wait to share our discoveries with you!