How Has Your Sit Spot Changed?
If you are someone that read my last blog post and decided to take me up on my invitation, I hope it has been bringing you comfort and a little bit of joy. It is amazing how much things change day to day. I love watching the gold finches spring colors emerge and get brighter by the day. I have been hearing wood frogs since late March, but I heard my first peepers last night. I always forget how quiet a winter evening is until I hear the chorus of frogs each spring. My son watched three garter snakes coiled in the sun on some rocks yesterday at his spot.
If you have decided to keep a sit spot journal or sketch book some ideas of other things you can make note of are animal tracks, sightings or other signs of any wildlife, bird activity (nesting, courtship behavior, singing, foraging), changes in plants/trees, moon phase, temperature, wind speed/direction, time, date, and length of time at sit spot. Is there anything you have seen that makes you curious enough to want to look it up and learn more about it?
Even if you are someone that already spends a great deal of time recreating outdoors, the more you practice doing a sit spot the more you will find that it becomes less about what you are doing in nature and more about what is happening around you in nature. The longer you are able to just sit and relax, the more you will be able to see the wildlife in its relaxed “natural” state. This is what will enable you to use all of your senses to observe and learn.
Developing the routine of visiting one spot in nature every day, some say, is key to the development of three of the most important traits of a naturalist – an insatiable curiosity, keen observation skills, and the ability to be a storyteller. This last part is what allows the observer to integrate all of their observations to make sense of the world around them, and then share it with others. This is what we try to do at the Discovery Center. With our public, school and children’s programming, our boardwalk, and our natural play area, we are inviting, one and all, to come and discover, to play and be in nature.
If you are someone that loves a good book, I have two great suggestions. “The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature” is a Pulitzer Prize finalist by David George Haskell. While sharing his experience of visiting a patch of old growth forest in Tennessee for a year, he weaves a great story about ecology and science, while including his personal reflections on life. If you are looking for a great read aloud to share with the whole family, I can highly recommend, “The Adventurers…Journey to the Crooked Forest” by Keith Marshall. This one will bring back all the fond childhood memories of playing for hours in the woods. Happy Discovering.
-Jay Sullivan, Staff Naturalist, Great Bay NERR
Read the original Sit Spot blog post here.