Monday, 29 April 2013

Learning on the go!

The canal on a somewhat brighter afternoon!
The Home education community can be a great source of information and ideas.Only the other day I blogged about the flowers I had seen and asked if anyone could identify a small white spiked flower with small rhubarb like leaves. As a result I was introduced by another Home Edder to a wonderful Facebook page called "The Nature Table" containing photos of flowers, birds and animals, people have seen and photographed. A wonderful resource for people like me! Within a very short space of time I got my answer.It was Butterbur, so called because it's leaves used to be used to wrap up butter!
The site resembles a virtual nature table, reminiscent of the days when we had a Nature table at school - in fact we still have one at our house- well it's not exactly a table but a window sill upon which I place sea shells, rams horns, pretty pebbles and drift wood that I find as I go on my walks with the family. It reminds me of the wonderful things around us and often prompts as discussion as the children spot the latest addition to the table!
Today's walk took me  along the Ulverston canal basin . It was too wet to take photos but I stopped to read the signs explaining the history of the canal and the busy port which used to flourish there until the Lancaster railway took over transporting Kirkby slate, Coniston copper and iron ore to the Port at Barrow. In total the canal flourished for only 50 years. There is still evidence of the large ships which used the canal to reach the port- large bollards at the waters edge to tether ropes to. As usual when I came home I googled  Ulverston Canal and discovered a BBC article about a bridge I'd passed. It looked innocuous enough but apparently it is the only one of it's kind in England and is now grade 2 listed. You can read about it here. Next time I walk down there you can be sure I'll pay a little bit more attention!

Old map of  Ulverston canal

Mussel shells- a natural Nature table!

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