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Not Quite Sand Nature Study – Creek Gravel and Rocks

Creek with poppies and sweet peas

We have not made it to the ocean yet this summer. We have big plans to go later this month but we had the opportunity to do some dirt, gravel, and sand gathering this past weekend up in the Sierra Nevada. We took a day trip to Grover Hot Springs State Park which is a complete blog entry all on its own. I will save that for later in the week.

For this post I will share a little of our nature study using the Outdoor Hour Challenge for Sand and Soil from the Summer Sizzle ebook series. We used the creek running next to the picnic area to enjoy some rock, sand, and gravel observation time. This is an interesting geological area which we are planning on going back to explore some more.

July 2012 Grover Hot Spring
This was a creek that meanders a bit and we tried to find some animal prints but we had no luck. There wasn’t much sand on the banks but it was more like gravel or pebbles. There were little fish and lots of insect larvae in the small pools along the banks.
The creek was very shallow and perfect for sticking hot toes in while you explore the smooth rocks of varied colors.
We used an empty water bottle to collect a bit of “dirt” which is mostly decomposed granite gravel and a bit of the “soil”. My hubby found that doing this left his hands super dirty with a fine dusting of soil. He of course used this as an excuse to wash his hands in a waterfall.

I am going to wait until after our beach excursion to do the up close observation with the hand lens, having Mr. B compare the dirt we collected from the creek with the sand we collect from the ocean beach. I think this will make it a bit more interesting and give him something to record in his nature journal.

July 2012 Grover Hot Spring
Summer nature study is at its best when you can combine it with an outdoor family adventure. It becomes just an extension of what you do to make your time outdoors more enriching. We didn’t take nature journals or field guides this time but the atmosphere was one where we were always alert to find something interesting.

Like the rock in the photo above….just one of the many interesting rocks that we saw on the hiking part of our day. We also saw some wildflowers, a few butterflies, heard and observed quite a number of birds,  and ended up sitting in the natural hot springs. Yes, this was a great day….more soon!
Don’t forget the Summer Photo Challenge! Here are the details and here is the Pinterest Board.

1 thought on “Not Quite Sand Nature Study – Creek Gravel and Rocks

  1. It was so neat to see Grover Hot Springs in your study. Our family used to camp there when we lived in Rio Linda.. Small world we live in.. 🙂

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