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, March 24, 2010
He carefully snipped a piece of glass out of the way. I was able to support the tiny verdin’s legs and then his body enough to guide him out rather easily. He remained calm the entire time. The parents were watching from the roof next door. We checked him for cuts, the little guy looked good, he was just a little shaky. I showed him to his parents and put him on the ground where they could see their little fledgling. He immediately hopped closer to the base of the palm for cover, I replaced some bird seed on the ground nearby and then I went inside to watch the reunion unfold by the kitchen window…
It felt very good. It’s so hard to watch any living being in distress, especially when it’s tricky to communicate that you are there to help. I knew we were there to help the verdins, but was that their experience? I was more likely seen as an instinctual threat to their offspring more than anything else. Like our own mothers, Mother Nature is once again perfect and subtle in her unique teachings. So often we find ourselves in our own struggles. The tricky part is communicating to ourselves or to others when we need help. Sometimes we find ourselves watching someone we love in distress and we are torn between figuring out a way to show them support and encouragement—without hurting them further; or lovingly waiting for them to find a place within, where they are open to accepting our help. That can be tricky too.
I think the best we can do is to be kind to each other and stay watchful, to be aware of when others around us are in pain or struggling. We should try to help whenever we can in the smallest ways—it feels very good to do so! And we should try our best to be there for those who will need our love, support, and encouragement in the biggest ways. Many times we just need to be present. We need to keep in mind that whomever or whatever we are wanting to help may also be afraid or cautious or not in need of our help.
The opportunity presents itself daily. Today my husband and I helped a baby bird and filled the opening of the broken bottle with a rock so that nothing else can get stuck (I will remove it over the next couple of days, when the baby verdin is not around). My only regret is that our preschooler missed the whole event, as he was peacefully napping. It was have been a wonderful learning opportunity for him as well.
How will you manifest your kindest qualities toward others today? What will you choose to do today to pay-it-forward, or do good?
Image: Artist Nataska Wescoat
Friday, March 19, 2010
"One of the best things you may ever cultivate in your yard is a gardener; share your love of nature with a child" read more here: 16 Tips for Wildlife Gardening with Kids - National Wildlife Federation - StumbleUpon
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Spring is upon us and many gardeners are harvesting their spring gardens and beginning to prep the soil for summer garden delights. Establishing a family garden is a great way to get your children and even nearby grandparents, or aunts and uncles into the experience of a family garden. If extended family is too far away, consider planting their personal seasonal favorites and have your child keep in touch with family members through updates on their “crops.” At harvest time you can plan a fun dinner by inviting family over for a visit with a special meal that is made with everyone’s garden contributions. Or you can prepare food like salsa, preserves, nuts, baked and seasoned sunflower seeds, or muffins that use your family member’s favorite garden veggie or fruit as the main ingredient that can be sent to them to enjoy!
The Secret Garden
When I was a child I was encouraged to try a few different gardens, from veggies to flowers, all of which failed. It could’ve been that I was not consistent with watering and also that I was quite frequently distracted by other activities such as “planting” other items in my carefully raked garden patches; like Smurfs, cars, stick tepees, tiny plastic animals, and bark houses for my Sunshine family dolls. I also decorated the area with collected rocks and shells. I did this for hours and hours on end. If I would have thought to water my seeds as much as I played, I might have had a flourishing flower or spaghetti squash garden. At least the birds benefitted from the seeds.
The Secret Family Garden
My point to this post is to encourage you to try gardening with your child, possibly making it an extended family garden—if you haven’t already! It’s the perfect activity for even the youngest in your family. I would also encourage you to establish a secret garden for your little ones to "plant" their plastic dinosaurs, favorite rocks, collected shells, or to build fairy houses…anything they wish to carefully place just so, that will inspire them to be outside, in the garden, in the soil and water, and simply in nature to express theirs. This special garden can be in and around the sprouting family garden or in a designated area within or next to the garden. I like the idea of keeping them close or intertwined as cultivating healthy food and healthy imaginations are equally important.
Maybe you had your own secret garden when you were young? If so, please tell us about it! We’d love to hear what made it most special to you. A secret garden never fails to cultivate the seeds of creativity, and always allows imagination to blossom :)
Fairy house photo from www.spokaneoutdoors.com
more fairy houses
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Follow this link to the hummingbird webcam--come back to share your comments!
Hummingbird Nest Cam on USTREAM: Phoebe is a Channel Island Allen (S.s. sedentarius) hummingbird in Orange County, California. She has been laying 4 to 5 c...
Monday, March 8, 2010
Check out this Green Blogger/InventorSpot post and let us know what you think: Innovative Rubber Sidewalk Saves Trees and More
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
You know where to find me—in the canyons, on the dunes, in the hills, on the desert floor. I’ll be the wildflower geek showing my son how to lay on his stomach to discover all of those tiny, happy “belly flowers.”