May of The 365 Nature Journal
The May Day (1st) celebrations are popular in the Waldorf schools curriculum. It is an ancient tradition that signals the beginning of summer. The Maypole symbolises the tree of life and is often decorated with garlands. The Maypole dance is the centre of the celebration with patterns created by the children dances.
By celebrating the passage of the seasons through art, music and story, we strengthen our connection to the rhythms of nature.
Start of summer
Now you have kicked off you official start of summer the sensory observations will be thick and fast now (3rd, 4th,18th, 20th) the aroma of summer flowers especially the elderflower (31st) never fails to stimulate. Uses all the sense to enjoy the seasons is always important and is a type of observations sometimes overlooked.
There is a spring tree id sheet from Wildlife Watch, I know we’ve just discussed start of summer but i think its a useful sheet for if its a late summer start for you. They have some great spotting sheets in the resources of their website, I use them quite bit in activity groups that I run.
Hunting for Spirals in Nature
There are many Spirals in Nature (6th) to be found both in plants and animals, click the link to read more about them. The easiest is probably the snail (22nd) or the beach shell or maybe pine cones or flower rosettes. We still love gathering a handful of shells while out and about and making them into a shell collection. Some birds of prey also make spirals in flight paths (21st) as they approach their prey because of always needing to keep the prey in their sightline.
It is a great time of year to easily build your belief in nature, seeds sprout quickly and the natural life is all around us to be seen – which is hard to remember in the darkest days of spring. This was once demonstrated to me so surely by my daughter who planted her shop bought apple seeds and watched them germinate on the windowsill (9th)
The daylight hours have a real stretch to them now, let them stay up until its dark (15th) and take a walk at dusk. it can be such a thrill and it doesn’t hurt to break the rules on a school night really!
Follow on from the clouds you learnt about last month by learning another – Cumulus – on the Cloud-Spotting- sheets. Other changes in nature should be easy to spot, look out for any baby fruits (13th) or baby animals (23rd)
Crafts are always valuable but this month the emphasis might be on getting outside to make the most of the summer. You can still do some spontaneous making things outside like the scarecrow (8th) or recreating a bees flight path (24th) or whittling a stick with a pencil sharpener. its a funny juxtaposition this one the combination of stationary used in a wild environment and its fun to mix it up a bit. Or on 14th fashion a birds nest from found twigs, its not as easy as it sounds and garners a new respect for the bird.
May in the 365 Journal has a few opportunities for nature studies if you wish. You can learn about lobed leaves as part of 16th. The UK Forestry Commission have a useful tree leaf ID trail . Or throughout the month record how much rainfall has fallen in your measuring device (2nd and 27th) with rainfall measuring sheet.
Blue flowers (28th) might be all around. if you have cultivated gardens you might find more. some examples are:
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