You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Scavenger Hunt’ tag.

Bear and Cub in the woods

I suppose you’ve all figured out I’m crazy about numbers.  Stats.  Useful information.  It’s kind of an obsession, as I explained to a friend this morning.  

We’ve covered the top search engine terms people have used to find this blog.  Now let’s look at the top blogs during the 365 day outdoor commitment. (Although, it seems to me that these top blog numbers are not really accurate.  If someone logs on to a blog and simply scrolls down the page without clicking on the actual title of the blog or the comments, no “hit” is registered in the statistics of a particular blog.)

#1 is Some Like It Funny and Some Like It Serious  (1,247 hits) and #3 is Repeating myself like a broken record, record, record (or CD, CD, CD) (393 hits).  Those two don’t really “count” as random top blogs because these were the blogs featured on the home page of WordPress.com.  The #2 top blog isn’t really a blog at all.  It’s the “About”  (612 hits) story which explains what this blog is about. 

#4 is Fisher, Pine Marten, Bear and Moose  (326 hits) which features photographs by Pam Boppel-Nankervis, a local wildlife biologist.  The first photo (up above) was captured by a game camera. 

The mysterious inside of an oak gall

#5 is The gall of that oak tree! That was the exciting day when we discovered that oak trees often grow green balls known as “galls”.  Very educational…for all of us.  Apparently, many, many folks are interested in oak galls. 309 hits for this one. 

 

Raven’s claw

 

I am also delighted to tell you that I discovered one of the dead birds hidden within this blog!  At least part of a dead bird.  The above raven’s claw was featured in a post called Dead raven, deer hide, river and stones back in March.  Perhaps all the people searching for “dead bird” end up on this post.  It has had 284 hits. 

The first sucker I ever caught

#7 in the greatest hits series (ha ha, Barry made me use this title!) is A sucker for sucker fishing, written in May.  I’m sure many fishermen have visited this post, wanting to know the secret for catching suckers.  Bet they left not knowing much more than when they started.  Here’s what I remember about that day:  throw the fishing pole into the water and wait until the sucker bites.  Then jerk the pole up and hope that the hook caught the sucker.  End of my knowledge of sucker fishing. 237 hits here. 

Birch bark on snow

#8  An all-time favorite of blog visitors has been Let’s have a scavenger hunt!  (235 hits). The idea for it popped into this brain on the way to the mailbox one day and we had a few eager participants.  The rules:  find some pussy willows, sumac or wintergreen, birchbark, animal scat and an animal.  Photograph all five and email ’em to me.  Some folks opted to put them in their own blogs.  We had so much fun that Amy over at Flandrumhill decided to feature a follow-up contest. Hers was really classy and educational.  

Fisher near pond

(Photo credit for above goes to Pam Boppel-Nankervis.  And this was NOT from a game camera.  She actually got this close to the fisher.  Can you imagine?) 

I hope that you don’t consider this cheating.  Putting in all these old photos and doing wrap ups of the year.  The statistics just beg to be included, you understand.  Besides, I didn’t think you wanted yet another photo of me in that darn snowmobile suit from 1970 filling the wood room.  That’s what we did again today.

Almost forgot to tell you!  More excitement.  The temperature leaped back up into the 20’s.  Once again, we’re living in the banana belt…

Advertisements

Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to photograph five natural subjects that each captures one of the following elements.  Each one is characterized by one or several colors that may be substituted for a literal image of the element.  We must then post ona blog or email flandrumhill (the organizer of this hunt) with the depictions by July 20th.

The elements are:

1.  Fire (red)

2.  Water (blue or black)

3.  Metal (white, gold or silver)

4.  Earth (brown or yellow)

5.  Wood (green)

Even though she posted notice of the Scavenger Hunt on Midsummer’s Eve, some of us have not yet completed the assignment.  This morning I knew today was the day.  But how to proceed, how to proceed? 

One could cheat and copy photos already taken.  But that wouldn’t satisfy requirements for an outdoor adventure today.  Sitting on the couch, pondering, suddenly the playing field materialized in the mind’s eye.

I am pretty much convinced we can find exciting treasures in small patches of earth.  Like our back yards.  Our front yards.  We don’t need to travel long distances.  We sometimes just need to plop on a piece of land and explore.  In the world of tiny-seeing, in smallness, in slowness…a magnificent world often opens up to us.

Would it be possible to find all the natural elements of this scavenger hunt in a small patch of ground? 

I took the measuring stick out into an area surrounding the fire pit which last burned on Winter Solstice at the consecration of this Outdoor Commitment.  See this blog to view our fire and blurry lights from the darkness of the night. We danced around the flames, honoring the shortest day of the year.  And we spoke our plans and desires for the upcoming seasons.  How apropos to re-visit this place and truly look deeply on Midsummer’s Eve.  (Well, let’s not quibble.  It is a little past June 2oth.  But in theory we’re still celebrating the long days of summer with this scavenger hunt.)

OK, OK, I’m almost through “setting the stage”.  The photos shall now present themselves.  Let me tell you how hard it is to limit the photos to five!  I could easily post ten or twelve here.  But, alas.  Flandrumhill said five, and we don’t want to break the rules so quickly.

Earth.  Brown meandering...hmmm, don't know what it is.  But I like it.

Earth. Brown meandering...hmmm, don't know what it is. But I like it.

Ooops, almost forgot to tell you.  There’s more to this scavenger hunt than meets the eye.  Not only should we photograph the five natural elements, we are also encouraged to include patterns of nature.  (I figured this would be fairly impossible in a 12 X 12 foot patch of earth, but you’d be surprised.)  Here are five common patterns:  stars, circles, spirals, branching out and meanders.

I found lots of dried brown and orange leaves and the yellow centers of daisies, as well as buttercups.  Also the soil itself, but well hidden beneath layers and layers of breaking-down debris and rotting leaves.

Rain drops on fern

Water. Rain drops on fern.

Fortunately, it had just rained.  Moisture glistened on the plants and leaves.  Of course this meant one needed to wear rain pants to intimately explore the terrain on hands and knees.  Other photo possibilities included the leaden blue heavy clouded sky and above and the black burned wood and ash in the wood pit.

Red of the fire element paints this leaf

Fire. Red of the fire element paints this leaf.

The fire element seemed the most challenging to find in the small plot of land.  The berries weren’t ripe, darn it.  No beautiful red flowers dangled above green stems anywhere.  There was the actual fire pit.  I contemplated that for awhile.  That’s when something started to click in the brain.  The elements aren’t actually solid and separate, are they?

Take the burned wood sitting in the fire pit.  The wood represents the earth.  The dark black ash represents water.  The fire pit itself represents the fire.  Gray silvery ash represents the metal element and green (wood) surrounds it.  Wood is what it is.  The five elements dance together and apart, present in all.

The above leaf looks like it has some sort of discoloring, perhaps a fungus or mold. 

Pearly everlasting like a radiant nucleus of a star

Metal. Pearly everlasting like a radiant nucleus of a star.

The pearly everlasting represents the Metal Element, white beauty that she is. 

The wood element (three leaf clover) with its repeating circles

Wood. The wood element (three leaf clover) with its repeating circles.

The color green ruled the 12 x 12 foot plot!  Everywhere you looked, green vibrated and grew gustily all around.  From the ferns to the leaves to the plants…we can tell it’s the depth of summer.  I am wondering whether one could discover each of the five elements in this same plot at Winter Solstice?  Hmmm….

Thanks for the fun, flandrumhill!

Better not leave any children unattended!  Dire consequences...

Better not leave any children unattended! Dire consequences...

Do you think the children really want to go to this Day Care Center?  Looks kinda spooky.

Do you think the children really want to go to this Day Care Center? Looks kinda spooky.

Oh fun!  Rock, paper, scissors.  But if you get "rock" or "paper" do you still get your hair cut?

Oh fun! Rock, paper, scissors. But if you get "rock" or "paper" do you still get your hair cut?

No, Duluth is not the last place on earth.  There's a sign on the Keweenaw Peninsula that says the same thing.

No, Duluth is not the last place on earth. There's a sign on the Keweenaw Peninsula that says the same thing.

We laughed about the saying on this coffee cup for five minutes.

We laughed about the saying on this coffee cup for five minutes.

You got this straight?  Especially the part about 2 whistles or 2 bells?

You got this straight? Especially the part about 2 whistles or 2 bells?

Just wondered...can you have children without adults?

Just wondered...can you have children without adults?

Leave the city behind!  You're up north now!

Leave the city behind! You're up north now!

Maybe some wishful thinking...

Maybe some wishful thinking...

OK, I think we’ve just about wrapped up the Duluth trip.  Today (Tuesday) I sat in a swamp for the outdoor adventure.  Perhaps I’ll find another swamp to sit in tomorrow and we’ll have a swampy blog. 

**Here’s another sign for you all:  REMEMBER THE SCAVENGER HUNT OVER ON FLANDRUMHILL’S BLOG!!  The contest ends next Monday, July 20th.  C’mon, everybody can play.  All you need is a digital camera and some imagination.  You can email ’em to her if you don’t have a blog. **

Butterfly in driveway

Butterfly in driveway

If you were a true Yooper (person from the U.P.) you would probably say, “Hey, yous guys, there’s a scavenger hunt over at flandrumhill’s blog!”   Please click on the link to learn the exciting details.  We had a scavenger hunt back in…excuse me, must go check…back in March.  Those of us who participated had a marvelous time and wanted to do it again. 

Amy, of flandrumhill, comes from Nova Scotia.  I, for one, am looking forward to finding photos of the natural elements and emailing her or uploading into this blog.  Maybe it will be one entire day’s outdoor adventure. 

Before the July 20th deadline, please join in!  July 20th is actually kind of an important day in my world.  A birthday, as a matter of fact.  So it will be kind of difficult to forget the final day the contest ends.

Barry & Christopher do the wood splitting

Barry & Christopher do the wood splitting

Speaking of gifts, I am luxuriating in a vacation from wood splitting!  Chris has taken over the chore.  He and Barry have split, transported and stacked at least two full truckloads.  Oh, heaven.  Oh, joy.  It’s a delight to have him home!!

So now that I’m not splitting wood, what did I do outside today?

1)  surveyed the woods from the deck this morning

2)  walked lazily to the mailbox, twice. 

3)  weeded the garden a tiny bit.

4)  stopped beside the roadside and photographed daisies just because they looked so pretty.

The sides of the roads sprinkled with daisies and clovers and buttercups

The sides of the roads sprinkled with daisies and clovers and buttercups

5)  read part of a book on the deck.

6)  meditated for a few minutes before becoming distracted.

7)  phoned a few people (also from the deck).

8)  sipped a glass of wine before dinner on the deck.

9)  ate dinner…you guessed it…with Barry and the kids…on the deck.

Getting up close & personal with daisies

Getting up close & personal with daisies

10)  well, there isn’t a 10 yet.  That will probably happen post-blog.  It’s 90% certain that I will head back outside to enjoy the warm 76 degree evening.  It’s sooo enjoyable  this time of year.  Inside/outside…there’s no difference.  Except for those mosquitoes.  But the black flies aren’t biting, so all is well in our northern world!

Shimmering underwater rocks

Shimmering underwater rocks

This morning I thought about the upcoming six month anniversary of this outdoor commitment and blog.  What an incredible six months it has been! (Well, it’s Day 166 as of today…June 21st, Solstice, shall be the six month anniversary.) It’s been one of the best years of my life.

I am so very grateful to the blog readers and commenters who have encouraged and cheered and helped me stick with it.

White pine cone

White pine cone

Years ago a native American friend shared this teaching:  when it’s your birthday or lucky day for you, share with others.  Be grateful for their presence in your life.  Instead of expecting presents, give to others.
I started thinking about this today.  I am feeling so grateful about this year, this blog, the great outdoors…it’s time to share some of the love and good feelings with others.
Our friend, Amy, flandrumhill, will be having a photographic scavenger hunt sometime around the Solstice later this month.   We are all anticipating that event!  Before the scavenger hunt begins, on the June 21st,  I would like to draw a name out of a hat (or somehow let nature decide…haven’t figured out how…) and send a free nature book to a reader of this blog.
Lily pads and flowers on pond

Lily pads and flowers on pond

Here are the rules.  Comment on this blog, a paragraph or two, sharing what you like about the outdoors.  Your best nature experience of your life.  Or this month.  Or last year.  Or a litle paragraph about what you saw outside today. Whatever.  Share what inspires you or turns you on about opening the door, walking outside.

Magic lily pad on another pond

Magic lily pad on another pond

On the Solstice, June 21st, I will put the names of all commenters to this blog in a pot.   Then Nature will decide which lucky winner will receive the contest award.

The winner can choose one of  the following prizes:

Superior: Journeys on an Inland Seaby Gary McGuffin (looks like a book about our great Lake Superior)

The Ultimate Guide to Digital Nature Photographyby the Mountain Trail Photo Team (for anyone interested in nature photography)

Deep Water Passageby Ann Linnea (I’ve read this one!  A great spiritual story about kayaking around Lake Superior.)

Hands-on Nature:  Information and Activities for Exploring the Environment with Children by Jennepher Lingelbach (nature activities for children)

Pink blossoms!  The end of the blossoms coming soon...

Pink blossoms! The end of the blossoms coming soon...

** If the winner prefers a different nature book (for under $20) perhaps we can negotiate…  🙂

Thank you, all of you, for your readership, comments and support.  It means more than you can imagine.  Thank you also to Emma who helped inspire this idea.

Keweenaw Bay ice begins to break up

Keweenaw Bay ice begins to break up

When was the last time you took part in  a Scavenger Hunt?  The last “real” Scavenger Hunt I participated in occurred about 7th grade.  Our science teacher brought a group of students to his home.  We all received a list of items to find and return.  The first team to make it back to the house with all the items won the hunt!  (By the way, the teacher’s last name was Hunt, hmm, odd coincidence…)

Here’s your list.

You must go out in nature and find the following items.  You can take a picture instead of bringing them to me.

1)  Pussy willows (C’mon…if I can find a pussy willow, you can, too!)

Item One...view Spring Pussywillows...Ode to Joy!

Item One...view Spring Pussy willows...Ode to Joy!

2) Sumac or Wintergreen. Your choice.  I have a photo of each.  If there’s ABSOLUTELY no sumac or wintergreen in your area, please substitute.  But don’t make it TOO easy.  Find something a little surprising.  Something enchanting.  Something that makes your heart pitter-pat at least a tiny bit.

The first time I could photograph sumac this year!  (drifts melted, you know...)

The first time I could photograph sumac this year! (drifts melted, you know...)

3) Birchbark.  On the tree or lying on the ground.  White or yellow.  But make it birchbark and think about all the lovely and practical items one can craft from birchbark.  Sing praises to the birch tree!  (Scavenger hunts are really about praising what one discovers….)

Pretty piece of birchbark, hmmm?  Just lying there in the snow.

Pretty piece of birchbark, hmmm? Just lying there in the snow.

4)  Animal scat.   Oh I’m sorry to add this to your list.  But we’re talking about a Scavenger Hunt out in nature, aren’t we?  So what’s abundant on the ground during the springtime after the snow melts?  You got it.  Scat.  Please do not pick up.  Photo only! 

Deer Scat

Deer Scat

5)  An animal.  (OK, it doesn’t need to be the same animal connected with your scat photo.)  It can be a bird.  A fish.  A mosquito.  Just capture a photo of it while giving thanks to the animal world.  Fortunately or unfortunately, in my Scavenger Hunt, the scat came from the animal posted below:

We see you peeking through those trees, Mr. Deer.

We see you peeking through those trees, Mr. Deer.

That’s it.  Five items.  Wasn’t too hard, was it?  Now send the photos to me in a green envelope (reminding of us spring) with your return envelope and I shall send you a small prize.  Because we’re all winners when we go scavenging in nature, aren’t we? Especially when we have curiosity, love and joy in our hearts!   🙂

Blog Stats

  • 226,470 hits
November 2017
S M T W T F S
« Jan    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930