|An ant discovering a tiny world|
The challenge is to go out in your backyard with your kid(s) and find one of these tiny worlds. Imagine you were a famous explorer and naturalist like Isabella Bird, investigating a new, previously unknown world. Who lives there? How do they construct their homes? What things are they afraid of? What things might they eat? What signs do they leave behind? To find my tiny world I went to a service road and watched ants running back and forth over the gravel. I followed one ant as it made its way up a landscape rock, then paused on the moss for a while before running off in search of food. You're the first person to ever witness this tiny world! Be a naturalist, describe, draw, inquire, explore!
To go a step further, you can take the 7-bug challenge. It's one of my favorite ways of getting myself to look closer. It'll get harder with the waning warm weather and chilly (34 degrees on Thursday) nights, but still possible. The 7-bug challenge is simple: find a shrub or tree nearby, and don't leave until you've found 7 different insects (or sign of their presence). On the short way back to my front door, I found another tiny world in the branch of a black locust. The more I looked the more I saw. Mystery after mystery opened up. Initially I was full of questions, and then my questions turned into answers. See the photos below for my 7-bug challenge. Feel free to post drawings or photos below.