Inspired by Celeste, on her blog Joyous Lessons, I set up a little nature tray in our home…a place to display those shells and rocks and feathers and flowers the kids are always bringing home. I loved how she said looking at her nature tray made her happy. I had to laugh because usually when I see the girls’ “treasures” lying around the house, I’m thinking more along the lines of, “Now where am I gonna put THAT?!” Well, now I have a spot. And I figure after the items are displayed for a couple of weeks, they can be swapped out for something new.
This little nature nook happens to make me happy too. And not just because of what is displayed, but because the cabinet it sits atop of was made by my late grandfather many years ago. It was actually a stand for my grandparent’s record player stereo system. (Under that glass tray you can still see where the top shelf was cut out for the record player to sit in…thankfully this glass tray fits perfectly to cover the hole. I don’t know why I didn’t think to put it there sooner!) The round, wooden plate I put on the glass tray to hold our nature finds was made by my grandpa’s brother, also many years ago.
So far, it is just high enough to be out of reach (or at least to not arouse the interest) of Little Mister. Among the items currently showcased is a little coral-colored blossom from our garden, a teeny tiny black and blue feather that C-Bear found at the park on Tuesday (from a hummingbird perhaps?), and a big snail shell the girls found on the wharf a few weeks ago. Of course it just wouldn’t be complete without an inspiring Charlotte Mason nature quote (snagged this from spanishmama.com).
Having the items collected in one spot has already inspired Boo and I to get our nature journals and watercolours out. I am attempting to paint without first drawing the outline in pencil. I MUCH prefer to draw it first so this is a stretch for me, but I am determined to try something new since the objects supposedly look much more life-like without that pencil outline.
And here are Boo’s shell and feather…