One Year Pond Study: Week 1: Assessing the Pond

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Thus begins our year-long study.  I’ve roped my intrepid mother into it as well!  She is passionate about nature and will be able to help her hapless daughter answer questions to which she herself has no reply (ie most nature related questions!)  So at 9am last Monday morning with all our chores finished, we ventured forth, noisy and enthusiastic to reach our destination just down the lane:
T is pushing B2 in her pushchair with A4 standing on the back.  My lovely mum is in blue
T is pushing B2 in her pushchair with A4 standing on the back. My lovely mum is in blue
And this is what we greeted with.  It's a hard life...
And this is what we greeted with. It’s a hard life…

Monday’s foray to the pond was more about discussing what we were going to do, which tree we might want to study for a year, the best place to test the water and so forth.  C10, who loves to draw and write, made notes and drew a lovely picture of the Mandarin duck which currently resides in our pond.  T11 loves to take photos, so he clicked away to his heart’s content and L10 simply observed-she had plans on the return home.

I tried to capture the pond and its residents:

You can see the gulls in the distance, paddling around in an unfrozen part of the pond, whilst the Mallards waddled and slipped their way across the frozen parts
You can see the gulls in the distance, paddling around in an unfrozen part of the pond, whilst the Mallards waddled and slipped their way across the frozen parts

And the Mandarin duck but only managed a photo from the distant:

It was this colourful duck that C10 was busy drawing and L10 was quietly pondering.
It was this colourful duck that C10 was busy drawing and L10 was quietly pondering.

We chose a tree for our year-long study and got off to a great start as none of us, not even mum could identify it!

We brought home a small branch with some buds to help identify it.  Next week we intend to take a bark rubbing
We brought home a small branch with some buds to help identify it. Next week we intend to take a bark rubbing

We left it at that and journeyed the short distance home.  Whilst I was busy putting B2 down for a nap, I could hear much industry going on in the living room.  T11 had picked up feathers and a beautiful leaf and had put them up on a display board (no photos, I’m afraid), whilst L10 did an impromptu presentation on the Mandarin duck:

L10 presenting on the Manderin duck
L10 presenting on the Mandarin duck

Whilst I schooled A4 the children enthusiastically attacked the task of collaging the rather bare cover of the A2 art pad, which was to be our family pond study journal for the year.  I gave them some photocopies and a nature book I knew we would never use to cut and paste.  It reminded me of when I was a teenager-I did this to all my photo albums outside and in!

C10 and L10 busy beavering away!
C10 and L10 busy beavering away!

And the final product:

Our Family Pond Study Journal
Our Family Pond Study Journal

We collected the few bits and bobs T11 had brought home and pressed them in our flower press.  We would try to identify the leaf once it was flat and before we stuck it in the journal:

Feathers and a gorgeous leaf waiting to be pressed
Feathers and a gorgeous leaf waiting to be pressed

Once everything was dry (the journal), and flat(the feathers and leaf) we gathered notes, pictures, developed photos and began making our page for the month of March.  There are 15 pages in the book and we have decided to make one double-sided page per month.  With the extra sheets at the back, we will include tables and graphs of the water ph, maybe some weather charts and tree pictures (and anything else we might think of later on).  We’re already looking forward to next Monday!

Science Sunday

21 comments

    1. The children said to say hi and to thank you for commenting. They LOVE getting comments from people they know! C10 said the ideas are already bubbling out uncontrollably and that they love you and Grandad very much and they told me to leave about 100 kisses- consider it done (you’ll just have to use your imagination of just how that many Xs would look!!)

  1. We, in central Canada, envy the photos of your pond. It will take us at least another month, and quite possibly more, to get to be anything like that. We are still under a deep blanket of snow and more is forecast for this week-end. Our city is named Winnipeg, but, it often gets called “winterpeg”. I wonder why!! Love the journal cover.

  2. Looks like you’re off to a very good start! It’s great that your mum is involved as well. I’m looking forward to reading more of your nature study posts on this topic. There’s so much to learn just around the neighbourhood. :-)

  3. I was really looking forward to following this project, and you guys haven’t disappointed me! The cover of the nature journal is beautiful.

    And maybe it’s a good thing you didn’t identify the tree first time – it’s a mystery waiting to be solved! How exciting to think that the tree will soon burst into life and reveal itself in all its glory!

    Lucinda

  4. Looks like a great first visit! I also thought it was great that the kids will have to dive in and discover what kind of tree it is they will be studying. Hopefully, it will provoke more investigatory work! I love the picture of the pond with the homes (?) visible through the trees. So picturesque. We live in Ohio (USA) and are waiting for that lush green grass!!

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