Wednesday, March 31, 2010


What a magical vacation! Vacations like this last one to Napa make me realize why I fell in love with Steve when we met in law school. We do share a unique blend of adventure and caution that makes our time together fun and exciting, yet comfortable and relaxing. So, did I get to throw myself into wildlife and nature? No, but the way we did Napa really brought us as close to nature as you can get in such a popular tourist area. First of all, we took a tour with Holmegrown Tours (which I highly recommend if you are ever in Napa) that took us to tiny, sustainable wineries all by ourselves. We were there for the incredible "budburst" when the tiny leaves just start to show on the vines. You could almost feel them waking up and reaching for the sunlight. We got to walk through a vineyard with light raindrops falling through the sunlight, and a rainbow as the backdrop. I'll never forget this trip. (Pictures will be coming)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Introducing a Child to Nature

Some of my favorite memories from my childhood were interactions with insects and other animals. I remember gathering dozens of tent caterpillars and making houses and mazes for them to follow. I remember filling my mom's sinks in the basement with dozens of toads. Who knew that they would be able to hop out and I would spend the better part of a weekend retrieving them from various places in our house?

I always try to incorporate animals into my work with children. Some children, as you can well imagine, are not always as eager to handle animals, especially insects. So, last week, when we began our PreK study of mealworms, there were a few students who were reluctant to touch them. I have this every year, sometimes students aren't used to animals and can be fearful at first. When this happens, I always let students move at their own pace in becoming gradually accustomed to the experience. One student in particular this year was extremely fearful and chose to sit at a different table so she could be as far away as possible from the insects. This week, with gentle positive encouragement, she came to the table and handled the mealworm many times! The look of joy and wonder on her face was extraordinary and validates everything I have felt about the benefits of children interacting with nature. It's also what makes my job so wonderful; just being able to witness such a transformation is truly a gift.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Flower Show

Well, the Flower Show was amazing, as usual. Actually, more amazing than usual. Everything was so lush and spectacular. From the hot air balloon covered with thousands of flowers, to individual flowers that seemed impossibly perfect. My very favorite was the hanging water globes with flowers representing a progression from ocean to mountain. It was truly an artist's vision. It was definitely a much-needed respite from the dreary, cold winter we've been having......