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Stop and Look! Patterns in Nature

We are closing out 2014 with another post from Liam. This is one of my favorites. Why? Because it is a reminder to stop and take a good look around us. Nature presents us with so many beautiful and interesting plants and animals. It is as if we are surrounded by small and large works of art everywhere we look. In the rainforest, we can see nature’s love of color in the brightly colored birds and frog and the play of patterns in ferns and trees. Even the tiniest of insects can create something interesting to view.

It is no different where you might live too. In my front yard, for instance, I see the bright red of cardinals at the bird feeder and the dark green leaves and pink flowers of a camelia bush.

Happy New Year to all our readers – Liam and I look forward to seeing you next year! From Liam:

It’s easy to miss the little details that make up a whole. When we think of a forest, we tend to think of the things we can see: large trees, animals, tall ferns. But the forest teems with life that we can’t immediately see. From the tiny insects that we overlook to the microscopic organisms living in the soil, thousands of forest creatures may escape our notice on a walk in the woods. Though these creatures are small, they are just as much a part of the ecosystem.

Leafminer Patterns in Nature Rainforest Science Blog Kids
Take a single decaying tree on the forest floor. At first glance, you see a log and various plant life. But look closer. Under that log you might find spiders, salamanders, snails, millipedes, and pill bugs. What you don’t see are the earthworms, microbes, and fungi in the soil, busy at work decomposing the log and adding nutrients to the soil. The work of these critters goes on right under our noses – and our feet! As a matter of fact, some of the smallest creatures make the largest impact on an ecosystem. The next time you go for a walk outside, don’t just look around. Look closely! They may be too tiny to leave footprints, but they often leave other evidence of their impact.

Something to Think About: Patterns in Nature: Take a walk in your backyard or along the street where you live. What kinds of color and patterns can you see? Can you tell what made them?

Look further: Scholastic's Patterns All Around, Kids Discover Family Nature Walk

Photographer Liam Mahoney
Rainforest Kids Science curriculum connection: Unit 3: Lessons 1-5, Grades K-5; Unit 4: Lessons 1 and 2, Grades K-5

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