Reflections · Stories

Celebrating Nature’s Processes

Ah ha! I’ve had an ‘itch’ to write lately, and sure enough.. I am just about at the one-month marker. I’ve only written one post per month in 2017, and I hope to write more as the summer approaches. We have one full week and two half days left of the 2016-2017 school year. There have been times where it seemed like the year would never end… and now that it’s just about here, I feel like I don’t have enough time to get everything done!

Lately I have been fascinated with growth and change in my surroundings (specifically in nature). A few months ago, I planted some basil, marigold, and tomato seeds that I had gotten from a classmate. Long story short, she was doing a group presentation in which hands-on learning was the main concept. She had bought/brought a bunch of gardening supplies for the presentation, and she didn’t want to take them home with her. I offered to take them, and I am so glad that I did!

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In the picture above, the top three rows are marigolds, and the bottom row is basil. Alas, the marigolds didn’t survive when I planted them outside. I probably should have waited longer since their roots were still very fragile/weak when I transplanted them. I saved one of the marigold seedlings for the final project of the same class where I got them.

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I used the small plant as a metaphor for my growth as an educator and leader. I’ve come a long way, but there is still so much more growth yet to come. It was nice to tie in something from a previous class into the last day. The picture below shows how the plant looked this morning (left), and again this evening (right). It’s amazing how growth can seem so slow at times, and yet so quick in other times.. similarly to the way time has passed throughout the school year.

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Along with the basil, marigold, and tomato seeds, I decided to plant some pepper seeds. We had eaten bell peppers one night for dinner a few months back, and I wondered if the seeds would grow if I planted them just like the others. They sure did!! Here’s a side-by-side of the pepper plants one week apart. They are even bigger now.

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*Nerd Alert* This is a big accomplishment for me. I can’t recall ever having this much success with growing plants from seeds. I’ve been excited in the morning to come downstairs to check on the plants, water them, etc. As their plant mom, I am a little reluctant to transplant them outside… right now they are all in a planter bed, but the space is getting a little crammed. The tomato plants are getting really big, too. All of them will needs some stakes and cages soon.

Another exciting tidbit from nature: a robin recently laid eggs in the bush in our front yard. Over the winter, I noticed a dormant nest right in the center of the branches. It was so well-crafted, and I was tempted to bring it to school. Thankfully I didn’t move it, because once spring rolled around, and the leaves grew back, the nest became a home again.

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For a while there, this crazy robin would dart in and out of the bush from tree to tree anytime we left the house. I was pleased to discover the eggs one day, and then baby birds shortly thereafter!

I took the photo of the birds on Tuesday, and they were no longer in the nest on Thursday. My first thought was that they had been eaten… there’s no way they could have flown away yet?? Maybe the mama robin took them somewhere else? Is that even a thing? Either way, I kind of miss the robin darting back and forth, even though it scared the crap out of us sometimes.

Today Andy texted me, “Oh my God. There are a billion baby praying mantises on our porch.” Back in September I saw a praying mantis and thought it was dying because it was dark brown and looked a little rough, and I thought it’s guts were coming out. I later realized it was laying eggs. We had other praying mantis friends that would frequent our front porch as well.

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So naturally, today I wanted to see some photos of the babies! Andy sent me a photo with a size reference. Crazy!

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Nature is so neat!!

How do you celebrate nature and all that it has to offer? 

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