Nature Study: Our One Year Pond Study Week 6 (The Ecosystem at Last)

My first successful bird in flight photo.
Wowser!

I think this has to be one of my most favourite photos I’ve ever taken.  Isn’t he a beauty?  Welcome to week 6 of our one year pond study.  For the rest of the posts in this series please see here

The goals this week were for the children to:

  • Understand pond ecology
  • Be able to identify any elements of the pond ecosystem in plain sight to them whilst at the pond
  • Be able to discuss the elements they were unable to see either because the season or because of their position ie under the water
  • Be able to use our water periscope to view under the water
  • Collect some water samples to view under our magnifier

First some general pictures of our pond and wildlife:

This week peace had returned to our little pond, all the ducks were paired off, save a few stray males, who had no partners.
This week peace had returned to our little pond, all the ducks were paired off, save a few stray males, who had no partners.
At peace
At peace
Such beauty
Such beauty
All together, no fighting
All together, no fighting
Is not creation perfectly stunning?
Stunning
I think the moor hens were out looking for nesting material.  I've never known them be so bold before
I think the moor hens were out looking for nesting material. I’ve never known them be so bold before
Our first pigeon
Our first pigeon

We had done quite a lot of work last week with the ecosystem, so this was a week of admiring the surroundings and doing a bit of hands on study:

One of the goals was for the children to have a peek into the pond water using our periscope
One of the goals was for the children to have a peek into the pond water using our periscope
I love how each child approaches the nature study according to his or her natural learning rhythms.  T11 does all the hands on practical things whilst C10 makes copious notes about everything she notices
I love how each child approaches the nature study according to his or her natural learning rhythms. T11 does all the hands on practical things whilst C10 makes copious notes about everything she notices
Collecting water samples from shallow water and deeper water
Collecting water samples from shallow water and deeper water
Fascination
Fascination
Oopsidaisy!
Oopsidaisy!

Whilst we wandered around the pond we discussed producers, consumers and decomposers.  These were all new terms and they did well pointing out those they could see and imagining and making suggestions of those they couldn’t.  Once we got home we looked at the water through our magnifier, not expecting to see much.  To our surprise there was lots of little wiggly things swimming about!

L10 taking a peek at the water and its many inhabitants
L10 taking a peek at the water and its many inhabitants

Next week we are going to revisit studying the pond water, as we did in week 2, although this time we will attempt some identification of life in the water.  Given I know zip about pond life, this should be interesting.

Just as a post script: I am enjoying this nature study so much.  Much, much more than I thought possible.  It moves me.  I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced such utter beauty and it’s all naturally stunning, with no modification to ‘improve’ by man.  Truly, such a gift from our Creator.

  Science Sunday

16 comments

  1. Great photography. Inspired by your weekly reports. We are still under snow so will do something later – May?!? We do not have a pond nearby so will pick a different ecosystem. Myra from Canada

    1. Still under snow? Oh Myra, poor you! We have blue sky and sunshine for the first time in a long time. It’s so cheery! I’ll pray for melting snow and spring to come fast in Winnipeg!

      1. I thought we were on our way to spring on the week-end. We had (low) melting temps but the snow did lessen on the ground. We actually had some quite large bare patches (right beside 1 metre high piles of snow!) and, then, this morning I woke up to MORE snow falling. There must be several cms of snow already and we are forecast to get up to 10 cms. Along with this, there are gusty winds which just add to the fun!! Keep praying! Surely there must be a spring in our future this year! On a serious note – Pray for mental health for people. We are so used to sunshine that 2 or 3 cloudy days in a row can really affect the mood of people (documented by mental health officials in our city) and the rates of depression increase dramatically.

  2. I love it… my bloggy week is now complete… I agree with you so much about Nature. It is amazing how as humans we simply need to ‘be’ outside. There is so much to learn, see, do and absorb by just being outside. And it stimulates all the senses and that is long-term learning. And your children are all having fun… and so are you!

    1. One of the main reasons I started this was for my children’s sake as they loved nature so much it seemed a shame not to study it. I thought I would go dragging my feet. And yet, having had the opportunity to open my eyes and see this incredible beauty which I simply had not noticed before, means that each week I am biting the bit to get going and see how our ducks are doing!
      I shake my head at myself in disbelief, but what a blessing to finally see….

  3. I think my favourite thing about this pond study is not the beautiful photos but the obvious enthusiasm from your kids!
    I know what you mean about nature study, too. It’s both soothing and uplifting to get out and really look at everything outdoors.

  4. How exciting about the wriggly pond creatures! I know what we’ll be doing when we next visit our pond..! Love your photos, too, especially that top one – amazing! Lucinda

  5. It was a great photo of the bird, they are so hard to get a good picture of.

    I need to go back to your first post and see if you wrote down any books you used to help you design this, because I’m really itching to do this now, and I quite frankly suck at nature studies.

    1. So do I! Each week I’ve been wanting to look under the microscope at the pond water and each week I put it of because, if I’m honest, I don’t really know what I’m doing. I’m determined to look this week, but it could be a disaster!!

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