We are doing something; we are trying to open the book of nature to children by the proper key––knowledge, acquaintance by look and name, if not more, with bird and flower and tree; we see, too, that the magic of poetry makes knowledge vital, and children and grown-ups quote a verse which shall add blackness to the ashbud, tender wonder to that "flower in the crannied wall," a thrill to the song of the lark. As for the numerous field clubs of the northern towns, the members of which, weavers, miners, artisans, reveal themselves as accomplished botanists, birdmen, geologists, their Saturday rambles mean not only "life," but splendid joy.
Charlotte Mason Toward a Philosophy of Education pp328-9
Jemimah and I found a new favourite place on Monday, the St Arnaud Regional Park, just five minutes away from the girl's ballet school. We packed a picnic of tea and chocolate cake today for our second visit, and were pleasantly surprised to stumble upon a sizable stand of grass trees, as well as a delightful viewing area, with views over the nearby town.
Late summer is not a good time for flowering plants in Central Victoria, and so we found plant identification a bit beyond us, but a few visits throughout the year should rectify that. There is certainly quite a variety of flora, even if we don't know yet what most of it is. Box and Ironbark trees there are in abundance, as well as some wattles and some little yellow everlasting daisies. Jemimah also spied a large bearded dragon, which was quite exciting, even if I didn't manage to get it on film for you all.
Most of our favourite nature study regions are close to home. We love spending time in the same place, watching the seasonal changes. Today we saw nary a bird. I cannot imagine that situation lasting for long, now that summer is coming to a close, and I am sure that we will see kookaburras and parrots before long. That will be fun. Soon the flowers will come, and maybe some animals as well. I can't wait to tell you what we find.
P.S. Jemimah is dressed for dance. She doesn't normally go for nature rambles in skintight shocking pink Lycra, although I must say that she looks quite gorgeous when she does!