Musings from a Sidewalk Explorer: Noticing the Unexpected

Ms. Patti, one of our educators who has been teaching preschool and kindergarten aged children at Moose Hill for 25 years, continues her daily walks around her neighborhood and shares what she sees and a few fun activities and resources for you.

What do you notice?  What does it make you wonder? Does it remind you of anything? These are the underlying questions that accompany me on any walk or Moose Hill program. In addition to noticing expected nature observations while on my daily walks (calling birds, blooming flowers, and budding trees), I noticed that I was looking for other non-nature observations: Will the gray and white cat be sleeping in the window? How many cars will be in the commuter lot today? Will the car with save wildlife RI plates be in its usual spot? Will I activate the dog “alarms” of particular houses? So, before the neighborhood watch was activated for a possible stalker, I switched up my route.   

What a difference a new path can provide. Along this new route, I happened upon a bumblebee hunkered down inside the flower cup of a daffodil, an unexpected surprise. I decided to really look for other unexpected sightings, and I was not disappointed.  Here’s a few of my favorites: a lawn ornament bunny missing an ear, a life-sized realistic horse statue (reminded me of my Barbie’s play horse as a kid, only this one was MUCH bigger), a tree seemingly busting out of the sidewalk, backyard chickens, a professional looking putting green (in a front yard), a chalk drawn hopscotch that went to an impressive 60, and perhaps my favorite finding of all…that my town has a racing pigeon club.  Who knew? 

Try some observation games: 

Play I Spy

Play Kim’s Game  

Stay still for a minute and count how many different sounds you notice. 

During your next Moose Hill visit, try our UnNatural Trail

So, I challenge you to take a new path and see what you notice…what unexpected things did you notice? Remember, you increase your chances of seeing something if you only look.  Be well and stay safe.

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