Lessons from the Fifth Week

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Not sure how this happened, but today we start week 6 of this school year. It seems this year will go by even faster than last year. As I look back at week 5, the incident that jarred me the most was witnessing the aftermath of a horrific wreck when I drove to pick up my kids from art class.

Cardinal Flower

Cardinal flower we spotted in our neighborhood.

It must have happened a few minutes before I got there. Several police cars, two ambulances, and one fire truck took care of the accident and the victims. Two cars had collided at the intersection of Glades Rd. and Hwy. 321 in Gatlinburg. Continue reading »

iNaturalist App

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These days, I am obsessed with a new app called iNaturalist. It is free in the app store on your phone. You can take a picture of anything in the natural world and it will tell you what it is. I do not know the names of all the plants or insects in my neighborhood. If we find a turtle in our backyard, I cannot tell if it is a box turtle or any other type.

Yellow Jacket

Wasp? Bee? Yellowjacket? The app helped us identify it.

So many times, I have taken the kids on a “nature walk” but I could not help them identify much beyond Black-Eyed Susans, Queen Anne’s Lace, and oak trees. It worked when they were younger. I feel we need to learn more. Continue reading »