Nature Journals: Using Technology & A Butterfly

August and September proved to be bad months for journaling in Oklahoma.  Drought + heat + bugs = outdoor misery.  And quite honestly, I wasn’t up for much journaling.  We are feeling some growing pains while homeschooling with two toddlers.

In the past three months, we have really only journaled one thing, and it was these tiny yellow butterflies that flit around the flowering weeds in the backyard.  Ryan happened to corner one on the porch and I was able to snap a few blurry pictures.

This was our first attempt at drawing a non-plant, non-dead thing.  Since we are in no way ready to grab supplies on the go and draw something that is moving around, I decided to harness the power of technology.  First, I snapped the photos on my husband’s old iPhone 4 which I use around the house for various purposes.  It is only connected to Wi-fi.  Hubby, being the technology guru that he is, has worked some kind of magic with clouds that instantly makes any photos I take with the iPhone appear in a folder on the desktop computer via the wireless internet connection and our router or some other such nonsense.

From there, I can get to the photos, select the best one, and display it on our school laptop.  The boys took it from there while I used Google’s new search by image feature to figure out what kind of butterfly this was.  I love this feature.  It is now my primary method of identifying flowers.  I simply upload my photo and then Google searches for a matching image.  Next, I sift through the results and hope to find an image from Wikipedia or a reputable horticulture website.  Just click the image to go through to the webpage and from there you can find the name and learn a little bit about the species.

I hope to get back to more nature journals this fall.  It is one of only a handful of activities that all of the boys can do together.  Even Josh is old enough to scribble without eating too many pencils.  Most of our latest struggles arise due to the fact that at least one kid is left out of whatever it is the other three are doing.  Usually it is Josh and while he may not be old enough to play in the sensory bin just yet, he is old enough to throw a fit about it.

~Catie

Check out more posts about our
Charlotte Mason style nature journals

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