It seems that summer has started for us as we found ourselves by the coast. Since it was low tide, we had a good look at the rock pools.
Can you guess what we found? Lots of life! As this was an unplanned find (I hadn't planned for us to go rockpooling), our 'field work' consisted of finding the creatures, observing them, and taking many photographs. The specific identifications were done later at home using the following book:
1. Sea anenomes, specifically, the beadlet anenome.
3. Seaweeds (mostly kelp, but also red and green seaweeds)
4. Shore crab
6. Common periwinkles
8. Evidence of lugworms
Excited by what we saw, we watched the following clips to learn from a marine biologist:
We also hopped on to the BBC Nature website to learn all about rockpools, then read a few books related to the subject.
We didn't see any hermit crab, but it seems to be the most exciting subject to be found in the rockpool, as shown by the clips about:
documentary also spends some time on the hermit crab:
We then decided to make an entry into our long-neglected nature journals. I have always envied natural journalists who are able to record their sightings on the spot, so I tried to replicate that plein-aire experience by limiting the time we spent drawing and painting from the photographs. Each drawing/sketch was done in five minutes, afterwhich each painting took about 10-15 minutes.
We also read a few more related articles from a nature magazine that is unfortunately no longer in publication. The purpose of reading these articles is to give us some idea of what to write in our journals. It works a little bit like a narration, in that I asked Tiger to recall and write one or more interesting facts about each drawing.
To motivate Tiger to stay with the project, I made my entries alongside him. I find that he is more motivated and interested to draw and write more when I am participating in the same task. It also gives me an opportunity to model research skills, attention to detail, page design, and patience (although the last skill is very much work-in-progress for me as well).
Another benefit of making journal entries together is that we learn loads together. For example, when we were writing about the common starfish, we discovered that the starfish larvae floated freely in the sea. Since we had no idea what a starfish larva looked like, we looked it up and found this fantastic page that tells us all about how a starfish grows. Absolutely fascinating.
Tiger's journal entries:
If you live in the UK, you might consider going to one of the many great places for rockpooling this summer. There is a lot to discover!
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