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Nature Study: Wildlife All Around

Spring is here! Well, almost. We got 6 inches of snow on Monday and the temperature dropped from 65 degrees to 10 degrees in 24 hours. That is mountain living for you! After everything was covered with a beautiful blanket of snow, it seemed that fauna came out of the woodworks around here.

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After finishing dinner, we saw some unexpected guests surrounding our house. 56 elk came to nibble on the dried, dead grasses around our house. They ate branches from our Ponderosas as they tend to do when their food sources are scarce. They like to kick the snow to reveal the ground beneath before they resume feeding.

We saw one elk limping and laying down as another came over and nudged him to keep eating. It was a wonderful teachable moment as Bud started asking questions like “How did he hurt his foot?” and “Will he be okay?” We prayed for the elk during bedtime prayers.

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The next morning, Bud spotted a beautiful fox taking a nap in our front lawn. What a special moment to enjoy with my children. We got out the binoculars and observed his black-tipped ears and long fussy tail. He slept out there for about an hour!

After seeing the fox, we went to the Lookout Mountain Nature Center and talked to a naturalist about foxes and elk. Bud asked, “What do foxes eat for breafcast?” (his cute way of saying “breakfast”) and the friendly man talked all about their diet.

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There is so much to see and learn in our own backyard. We enjoy viewing the beauty around us from our windows and porch. I love that when my kids had questions, we could spontaneously take a field trip to the local Nature Center and get the answers. Homeschooling is so fun!

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature; he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

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