Get Out There – With Dad and/or Grandpa!

June 19, 2010

The National Wildlife Federation President Larry Schweiger had a great email I want to share with you regarding enjoying nature with the kids (The following is copied directly from the email.):

As a father and a grandfather, I’m always looking for inspiration on how to do more for my family. And so often, I find it in nature.

It’s not always easy to know how to get children outside in nature, or even find the time to do so. Sometimes the weather gets in the way, sometimes competing schedules.

But outside play is so important, even in some ways you might not know. Studies show outdoor time helps children grow lean and strong, ignites imaginations, improves attention spans, decreases aggression and even boosts classroom performance.

That’s why I thought you might appreciate hearing some helpful tips from a few “real life” dads on how to connect with your family in the great outdoors.

* Visit your local garden center. Let your kids pick out their favorite flowers, plan their dream garden or be an imaginary explorer.
* Fly a kite and take advantage of a windy day.
* Start a collection. Help your kids find leaves, rocks, flowers or other artifacts.
* Put on some boots and go splash in the mud on a rainy day.
* Mark out your own backyard nature trail using stones and branches. Have fun identifying the flora, fauna and bugs that inhabit it.

Want even more ideas? Sign the Be Out There Pledge today and you’ll get a lot more tips, information and support for making outdoor play a priority.

Whether you’re a dad yourself or simply have one in your life, take some time out this weekend to experience nature, make some memories and “grow” wild with your family – take the Be Out There Pledge today!

Sincerely,

Larry Schweiger
President and CEO
National Wildlife Federation

Austi and Grandpa Ron Out in the Walker River


Possible Plethora of Wildflowers

June 30, 2009

Because of the late, cool spring rains, the wildflowers in the Sierra Nevada may be in bountiful bloom in a few weeks. The warm weather that is expected this week will start them on their way. Actually, we’ve seen blue lupine, white prickly poppies, pink, red and light purple penstemon, and California poppies along the road already.

Some of our favorite wildflower books for the high desert are Sierra Nevada Wildflowers by Karen Wiese and Great Basin Wildflowers: A Guide to Common Wildflowers of the High Deserts of Nevada, Utah, and Oregon and Wildflowers of the Eastern Sierra and Adjoining Mojave Desert and Great Basin both by Laird R. Blackwell. Laird Blackwell also has Tahoe Wildflowers: A Month-by-Month Guide to Wildflowers in the Tahoe Basin and Surrounding Areas for the Lake Tahoe area.

Our mode of operation on our car trips, mainly on Highway 395, between LA and Reno is for me to give the high sign that I want us to pull off to the side of the road so I can pull out the books and camera to identify and record the latest splash of color along the road. According to the books, Horseshoe Meadow and Onion Valley are showy places. Also off of Highway 88 on Blue Lakes Road is another super spot. The mountainsides along 395 on the other side of the road from the Walker River splash with color. Carson Pass is another good place to find different wildflowers.


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