October is a great month to celebrate nature! Several holidays in the month are perfect to add natural exploration. Here are a few special days to start your journey:
October 3 – World Habitat Day
Touted as a way to celebrate Habitat for Humanity, everyone needs adequate shelter. Explore the natural side of habitats. Greater Middlebury is home to rivers, forests, wetlands, and more. Take a hike to find the four basic aspects of habitat, which are food, water, shelter, and space. These needs vary for each creature.
October 4 – World Animal Day
Wildlife abounds nearby. Raccoons, snakes, owls, bobcats, and more can all be found in our natural spaces. Each animal is uniquely adapted to live in its environment. Learn about animals in Indiana at: www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/3357.htm.
October 7 – World Smile Day
One of the goals of World Smile Day is to help another person smile and perform acts of service. Why not celebrate it by creating a “natural” smile. Find a curved stick for a smile, rocks for eyes, pine needles for hair, etc. Let your imagination run wild! Leave your smile art for others to find. See ideas at: insideoutsidemichiana.blogspot.com/2013/11/nature-faces.html.
October 12 – National Fossil Day
Crinoids, often called Indian Beads, are common in our area. Explore fossils in Indiana by visiting: igs.indiana.edu/ReferenceDocs/Fossil_card.pdf.
October 16 – Full Moon
Celebrate the full moon with a moon viewing party. In Japan, people decorate with grasses and eat dumplings. Here, try a bonfire with s’mores while watching the moon rise in the sky.
October 31 – Halloween
While we tend to think of tricks and treats, there are many natural ways of celebrating Halloween, such as pumpkin carving, a natural scavenger hunt, learning about bats or spiders, nature art, etc.
Check out the ideas at: goexplorenature.com/2011/10/10-ideas-for-halloween-nature-fun.html.
How will you celebrate nature in the month of October?
Dr. Carla Gull blogs at www.InsideOutsideMichiana.com. She is often seen with her four tag-along explorers in the greater Michiana area.