Monday, 22 April 2013

Up close... with nature

nature has been an important part of our lives - for the girls, their first nature experiences were in Australia, where we lived for the second half of their first year - here face to face with crimson rosellas in the Dandenongs.
finding berries around out little country home (a 35sqm little house with a sleeping loft over half of it) is another early nature experience for our children - here you see wild strawberries being threaded on a straw of grass.
when we are there we have access to the lake (the house is in the woods, next to the lake) where there are opportunities for swimming, discovering wildlife and fishing - everything slows down... there is time to hear and to experience
in the meadow outside the house during the summer are cows - these are famous organic cows - the pictures of them are on the sides of the lorries delivering milk - its funny because my children can name the cows on the lorries...
having cows so close means there is the chance to see how animals are born, and to help out when nosey cows come to check out the newborn... also to discover that its a funny feeling when a calf sucks on your fingers...
being out in the woods means that we get other visitors sometimes too!
one of Michael's favourite past-times when he is there is to look for frogs and toads...

and he has great enthusiasm to check EVERYWHERE for them, discovering many other things on the way
when we go on holiday nature is never far away - here the girls are singing in the mountains - we are literally on top of a mountain here in Austria

the great part of mountains in Austria are the mountain huts, and just how family friendly they are. Not only do you get the chance to walk and experience nature, but at the mountain huts there is not only the chance for food and drink, but most often a playground and animals... here the goats take the girls by surprise...

and then there is bug hunting... in Austria...
...on grassy ski-slopes

and in the Italian Appenine mountains

where the size of some of the bugs was pretty impressive and there was need for strategy talks in how to best catch them...

and of course in Sweden at the midsummer party (always a big bug hunting day for Michael)
there is time in Italy to play in the forest, make a city with branches and leaves and to climb trees and pretend to be an owl
and for their birthday in 2011 they received an owl experience - 2 hours hands on learning about owls - it was amazing...
another favourite on holidays are all the lizards...
or getting up close with nature in rockpools at the beach
sometimes we go to parks and zoos to get the opportunity to see animals up close - and even here nature can surprise you - a wild squirrel has become rather tame at Skansen

and if you are lucky when you visit, you are really interesting and you get a close up experience of your life!
but the simple pleasures of finding nature is really the most exciting. It is how we learn so much about our planet, and about ourselves by observing how nature lives with us...
...but maybe not ALL nature is fully appreciated - mosquitoes is not one of our favourites...

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