Listening to Nature

We completed the Outdoor Hour Challenge Two which focused on listening during the hike and then thinking of words to describe the walk upon the return.

We tried the same hike that failed us so spectacularly for the first challenge.  This time was a much much more successful adventure.  Not only did we accomplish the mission of the hike but we had fun too which is critical from my perspective.  The participants for this hike were myself, Froggy , a nine year old friend, Tia who was spending the day with us, and our dog, Sebastian.  When offered two choices of activities, Tia actually picked the hike.  It was a pleasant change for me to be on a hike with a older more knowledgeable child.  We hiked from the trail entrance about three quarters of the way to the park which is our eventual goal.

The trail is as beautiful as can be found in an urban environment.  It runs along the upper ridge of the creek and for most of the trail the houses on either side of the creek are not visible.  I prefaced the hike by explaining to the girls that we wanted to be as quiet as possible on the hike and listen to the sounds of nature.  Froggy did amazingly well for her at being quiet. Normally on a hike Froggy is a loud running commentary of every thing she sees, hears and feels.  We paused a couple of different times on the hike to listen to things other than the crunch of our feet on the fallen leaves.  We listened to the tweeting of a bird,babbling of the creek, and then later a much different bird call.

When we came home I had the girls do a journal exercise with prompts from the challenge.  I wrote for Froggy but the answers on her

One word to describe something I heard - tweeting
Two words to describe something I saw - quiet gentle river

Three words to describe something I felt - fuzzy hard stick.   -- this one took some prompting on my part to help Froggy remember.

I then suggested the girls illustrate their entries.  Tia opted to but Froggy declined (not surprisingly).  I taped in some hitch hikers that came home with us above the entry but that was the only addition on my part. 

I also took some pictures of the plants in their winter wear for us to study and identify during the week. 


  1. Sounds like a beautiful walk! And what a helpful reminder to listen to nature and not narrate the experience as we go along... a weakness I guess I share with Froggy. :-)
    More thoughts on winter nature walks - inspired by your post; thanks!

  2. I think your family did a great job on this challenge. It is hard to learn to keep quiet a little during hiking or being outdoors. I tend to talk quite a bit too but it is always worth the effort because like you found out there are interesting things to hear.

    Thank you so much for sharing your nature time and your link with the OHC.


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