Saturday, September 16, 2017

Outdoor Mom's Journal - September

During our outdoor time this week we went....to Hidden Falls Regional Park in St. Paul for Wildness Inquiry's Great River Race.

The girls were selected to be part of a alumnae team of grant receivers from the Ann Bancroft Foundation.



It was an early morning start with an 8:15 a.m. check-in. They both received shirts from the foundation to wear during the race.


There was a videographer there who was created a short movie about the experience.


The girls were able to spend some time with Ann Bancroft. Although she knows the girls and what they did, she had all the girls share how they used their grant money.

It was interesting that all did some sort of physical activity or sport. In Olivia's case, it was dogsledding and ice climbing. For Sophia, it was horseback riding on long trail rides, ziplining, and sea kayaking on Lake Superior.


The girls received a lesson about how to paddle in a canoe. It was going to be a long race - over 6 miles - so they needed some basic tips about how to paddle efficiently and quickly.


There were 28 teams - each in a large voyageur canoes that held 12 people.


While I waited for the girls to return from their 1 hour and 18 minute trip, I enjoyed the scenery.


It had rained earlier that day, but cleared up. There was a nice breeze and I enjoyed being outdoors.


After the race, the girls had their picture taken with Ann Bancroft.


The girls won second place in the spirit awards. The foundation created crowns and wristbands like Superwoman. Combined with their "Girl Empowered" shirts - they looked sharp together as a team.


The most inspiring thing we experienced was...seeing a family of turkeys in the pollinator habitat park that our 4-H club (along with the Friends of Scandia Parks and Trails and Prairie Restorations) created last Fall.


We began working on the project in August 2015 when I heard about a grant program from Pheasants Forever for youth organizations in Minnesota. Applied for the grant and received it. Prairie Restorations prepped the land for throughout the Spring and early Fall of 2016. By October 2016, it was seeded. 

This year was the first year that the prairie bloomed. There is a lot of clover and black-eyed Susan flowers throughout the park. It's just beautiful now with all the flowers. 


Next year new wildflowers will blooms and then year after even more flowers. By the end of the third summer, all the perennial wildflowers will be established and blooming. It will be so colorful!

Our outdoor time made us ask (or wonder about)...what other benefits black-eyed Susans have in nature. Found out that they provide food for small animals (I guess turkeys would fall in this category), pollinators, and birds. They provide nectar for butterflies. In nature, these flowers attract songbirds and butterflies.


In the garden, we are planning/planting/harvesting....this is getting towards the end of the season now. So, mostly I'm getting a few tomatoes and marigolds. The garden didn't do as well as in past years.



I added nature journal pages about....nothing. I need to catch up with doing adding to my nature journal. I was doing well at the beginning of the year, and then stopped doing them.

I am reading...a variety of books now. However, nothing is focused on nature or wildlife. 



I am dreaming about…
cooler weather and leaves changing next month.

A photo I would like to share...
this is a butterfly that we raised last year. This year, despite having a ton of milkweed and seeing lots of monarchs, we didn't find one caterpillar to raise.


This is the first year in a long time that we haven't been able to watch this magical process up close. Maybe next year we'll find some caterpillars to raise.



Thank you to Barb the Outdoor Hour Challenge for the idea of doing an Outdoor Mom's Journal.

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