Curating Nature: Investigating Our Environment Through Collecting

Curating Nature: Investigating Our Environment Through Collecting

Collectors. I think that we are all one at some point in our lives. There’s something exciting in searching for pieces to add to a growing collection or launching a hunt for a rare piece that you think will establish your collection as something more than just a hobby piece.

Curating Nature: Investigating Our Environment Through Collecting

By accident, my children and I have started curating our own collection from our travels. Rather than cheap trinkets from souvenir shops, we have been drawing together pieces from the environment around us: shells, feathers, pebbles, flowers, seeds…..natural objects that inspire conversation and encourage discussion. We have labelled our project “curating nature“.

Curating Nature: Investigating Our Environment Through Collecting

Sometimes we can physically add the items to our collection. Other times taking it would remove an essential element of that particular environment, so we leave it behind. To document our finds we take images. These become our reference point before we can return and look at the physical piece again.

Curating Nature: Investigating Our Environment Through Collecting

This spring we watched a dove build a nest and lay eggs only to have them disturbed and then eaten by a larger bird. She discarded her nest, perhaps to build somewhere safer and we curated her nest for our collection. We quietly inspected the nest and noted that sticks were not woven together but placed on top of each other in what appeared to be a random order. Later in the year we discovered a native bird nest near a dam. It was still in use, so we inspected it without touching and noted the difference. It was tightly woven into a cone type feature with fur and feathers drawn around. We then found swallow nests around the architraves of the house which were made from mud. The questions arising from this find and the differences between the two nests spurred us to research more about nests. Why are they different? What types of materials can be used? What is the process for building a nest? Can they be used again?

Curating Nature: Investigating Our Environment Through Collecting

Curating nature has become something that we often fill our Instagram Feed with as our adventures takes us to new places with diverse environments. As such, I think we will make it a regular piece here on the Kid Bucket List as it always builds our knowledge which is led by our natural curiosity.

If you would love to join me in sharing your finds, head to your favourite social media platform and upload your latest collection. Remember to add #curatingnature so we can find it!

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