Talk Nerdy to Me

If you have been around my blog before, you might know that I am a giant nature lover. I love science, I love nature, and this past year I have been doing a bit of a deeper dive on topics I enjoy. When I was in school, I always felt like I wasn’t “good” at science. And, depending on the type of ology, I wasn’t. I am just not mathematically minded; it comes a little harder for me. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t like it. I think that is a misconception a lot of us labor under – that if something is difficult then it is not for us. I have learned as I have grown older that this is simply not true. I have been reading more nonfiction than ever before, on all sorts of topics. I am listening to podcasts that teach me. I am putting in the time because I want to know more and understand more. And sometimes, our learning is more hands on, with getting out there and exploring nature, connecting with it personally – even bringing it into our home. The feeling this has given me is one of fulfillment and happiness- I am more content. I have always been a curious person, one who gets excited about the small things, and I am hoping that I am passing this on to Wyatt as well.

Anyway, my list! I have found some podcasts that I absolutely love, and here they are, in no particular order.

Ologies with Alie Ward: This is listed as a comedic science, and Ward makes listening to some of these topics more fun than one might think. She does use language that not all people would be comfortable with, but if this doesn’t bother you, this podcast is fabulous. I have learned so much! If it is an “ology” you might be able to find out more about it here! My favorites so far: Gluteology (BUTTS), Bryology (MOSS), and Lupinology (Wolves) (photo is from the episode about gluteology)

Our Numinous Nature: This is a new favorite for me, but it was an instant favorite. One episode in, and I was hooked. It is described as “a collection of reverential stories about nature & its effect on our souls. We’ll be hearing from folks with a deep connection to the natural world, from herbalists to hunters, wildlife rehabilitators to trappers, artists to homesteaders… The hope is to weave together these disparate lifestyles through tales of profundity, love, and awe. Find a comfy log and join us at the sonic campfire.” I am so in love with all of this. And I have lots of thoughts. The diversity in this podcast makes me happy, as this world is not so black and white, there are many shades of grey. The episode that hooked me: Herpetological Spring with Caroline Seitz, a Wildlife Educator

The Critter Shed: Another no-brainer for me, as I have been slowing adding critters to my own home. This podcast is about “leggy things like spiders, frogs, scorpions, newts and more…. In a shed!” So if you like creepy crawlies and little critters and more, then you need to check out this pod! My favorite so far: Snail Tales in “the Love Shack”

Nature’s Archive: This one takes a look from a different perspective – not only are these people experts, they are people actively working on making changes and an impact upon our natural world for the better. It is very inspiring!! I just started listening to this one, so I haven’t heard too many but my favorite episode so far is The Pollinators Posse on Monarchs

Earth Rangers: This one is for kids, but I love it too! Wyatt and I listen together and I love how they present the information in a fun, engaging way for kids. I will turn them on sometimes just randomly in the afternoon, and we listen as we go about doing other things- cleaning for me usually, and playing for him, but then other times I use them to accompany different unit studies we are doing. Wyatt’s Favorite Episode: Big-Eared Bats, and Big Cat Countdown

Do you listen to podcasts? Any science or nature favorites in your playlist? I would love to know!

Full Wolf Moon Howl

Two years ago I signed us up for the Kids Moon Club, an online “year-long journey and community tied not to keeping up, but looking up.” I wanted Wyatt to be a part of something, to have some sense of belonging to a group, even an online community. And this was such a good choice. The community of people are amazing and gracious and joyful, artistic and sharing and lovers of nature as we are. And the first year that we participated Wyatt made some tremendous gains, saying some of his very first words – snow and moon. February is the month of the full snow moon, it will always be a little special to me for that reason, but January is the full wolf moon, which is always just fun honestly.

We spent our homeschool day learning about Arctic wolves. They are beautiful majestic creatures for sure. Then we made Wolf Paw cookies, while singing along to the Snow album from the Okee Dokee Brothers, with special emphasis on the song Howl, of course. For dinner we had a very meat centric meal, to be wolflike, with pot roast and meatballs on the menu. (Wyatt loves meatballs) And of course, enjoyed our cookies afterwards.

There was to be a collective howl at 7 pm for the full wolf moon, and I invited my family to howl along from their homes, which sounds pretty odd but it was fun. It was kind of neat to know that we were all doing the same thing together, at the same time. I kind of get why wolves do it. (Although you can see Marlow wasn’t too big of a fan) But the fun wasn’t over yet. We cuddled up on the couch all tumbledy-cozy under blankets, Wyatt still wearing his little hat I made, and read Wyatt’s Gray Wolf letter that was his letter for the month from the Writings from the Wild subscription he has. It was super cute honestly, and really interesting. We talked about how the wolves use their tails to block the cold from their noses, and compared it to how our fluffy cat Miso does the same thing, curls all up tight with her tail in front of her face.

After we read our letter, it was time to choose which wolf we were going to symbolically adopt from the Wolf Conservation Center in New York! A bucket list item for me is to camp there, with the wolves. You don’t actually get to camp with them, but close to them which would be so fun! After COVID I am moving that up the list. Every year we choose a wolf to “adopt” – the first year we picked Zephyr, the second year Deven, and then this year Wyatt picked Lighthawk, a Mexican Gray Wolf.

Over the course of the month, I explored the world of wolves myself. I listened to the Lupinology podcast on Ologies with Alie Ward, which was so fascinating I listened to it twice. Then I watched the mini-documentary Call of the Coastal Wolves, about the sea wolves of Vancouver Island, which was beautifully done. I plan on reading more about these interesting creatures. Paul Nicklen, a National Geographic photographer, joined them on this journey. I follow Nicklen on Instagram and his photos are otherworldly and gorgeous.

We have a few more activities left to complete before the new snow moon moves in, the forest story and our wolf coloring page, but overall this has been a fun month. We are looking forward to the snow moon of February!