Thank you for visiting the home blog of Caliso Learning, a natural science-based business celebrating the beauty and ecology of our natural environments. Our goal is to connect you and your family with nature--actually, we want you to fall in LOVE with nature!

Here you will find nature-inspired articles and posts, family activities, personal stories, resources, and more--all with the goal to connect you with the benefits of nature for family fun and inspiration! Please enjoy and let us know what you like :) Follow us on Facebook for even more resources, more frequently!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

9 Articles and Resources on the Benefits of Nature

The benefits of nature are easy to appreciate once you step into an environment that draws you. For many of us, this is instinctual as we seek to "escape" to the ocean or beach, or to a mountain hide-away. You might desire to get back to nature in the most basic, test-your-limits kind of way with a little backcountry camping or backpacking. Or you might just need to take in the peaceful surroundings of an inspiring natural landscape outside your vacation cottage while you sit in a cozy nook and read a good book! I feel the most relaxing and creative boost when I'm by the water, particularly vast expanses like the ocean.

Check out any of the articles below about the benefits of nature on your mind, body, and spirit. Share your own experiences of ways nature affects you.

The Cognitive Benefits of Nature: The Frontal Cortex

AUDIO The Takeaway: The cognitive benefits of interacting with nature (Walking makes you smart)

The Benefits of Nature and Camping

Nature: Science Shows It’s Good for the Mind as Well as the Body (AARP Bulletin Today)

Restorative Benefits of Nature…Gardening to Achieve Better Health
The Benefits of Nature and Outdoors

The Cognitive Benefits of Interacting With Nature

http://dericbownds.net/uploaded_images/Berman_cog.pdf (Research/Report)

These two articles emphasize the benefits of nature for our children:
A Walk in the Park Can Improve Reading Comprehension

The Many Benefits Of Walking In Mother Nature


We would love to hear you own experiences of how nature restores you!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Daily Rhythms: How These Cycles May Affect Our Goals

In the study of wildlife ecology, living at night can be seen as a form of “niche differentiation.” This is where a species' niche is divided into specific time periods (daily or seasonal) that best contribute to its survival in response to surrounding resources, competitors, or threats. Temporal niches take advantage of an animal’s enhanced senses (sight, hearing, smell) that dictates activity to ensure their survival.

Humans are not exempt from this concept. During a typical 24-hour cycle, does the time of day have any affect on how we utilize our resources, or respond to the demands that threaten our time and energy? My husband is most alert in the very early morning, a time when he is primed for reading and meditation. I am most alert, and get my most creative boost very late at night. We both are least energetic during late afternoon. Examine your daily rhythms. When do you feel most creative? When do you have the most energy? Where in the daily cycle do you feel you are winding down? What part of the day do you feel the least productive?

It is good to be aware of how we coexist within our daily environment, and note what times we function best to maximize our resources for completing projects. It could also help family dynamics or our relationships at work (group populations!), by learning to build a balanced coexistence; recognizing where our needs fit individual niches, yet complement the overall potential of the group.

Once we acknowledge segments of our time where we feel most energetic—or our mind is primed for growth, productivity, or creativity for example—we can better manage our time and help avoid self-sabotage of our goals.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Critter Café

For a great family project, why not create a backyard habitat you can be proud of while protecting native wildlife from habitat fragmentation/loss? Invite some of those native species that need your help with a creature feast! By planting plants that provide cover for smaller species, as well as food and nesting sites or nesting material for birds and drinkable water for other animals, you can set the scene for watchable wildlife and encourage natural predator/prey cycles--where both sides can benefit.

Here in the desert, native landscaping helps maintain precious water reserves. Native birds, reptiles, and small mammals also help to keep unwanted pests and other vectors out of your yard by preying on them. Birds, and especially bats, will consume thousands of unwanted insects. Even a roadrunner will pluck a juicy black widow from her web for a snack. If you live in an area that sees snakes regularly, welcome the sight of a kingsnake or roadrunner as they will prey on rattlesnakes as well as rodents.

Please note:
Provide food for native species responsibly. Offer their natural diet and other needs through your landscaping. Please do not feed roadrunners cat food, or other meats regularly eaten by humans, it is very harmful to their young. Leaving human or domestic animal food out will only attract those pests you do not want around your home! Besides, if you fill the bellies of these well-meaning natives, they won’t have room to feast on the natural pests you’d rather not have around!

Keep us posted on your experiences--we'd love to hear :)