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Wednesday, March 7, 2007

An Inspiring Neighbourhood Animal Audit

Today is Math day. In preparation for step father's lesson, Boy and I decided to do an audit of animals (I suggested we do flowers but Boy near puked at the thought) in our neighbourhood. What a fun way to inspire Boy and to approach concepts of Math. I was actually inspired after reading A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That posted over at Ragamuffin Studies. Elisheva's descriptions of the spiders and animals in her area resonated with me as a learning experience and further inspired me to share what we see on a daily basis.

Here's a few of the Australian animals we live with and were audit inspired by.

Sun Bird. Ms and Mr Sunbird nest on our back verandah every year. The nest stays hanging year after year with the odd maintenance occurring prior to them laying eggs. A popular food source for snakes, we keep a protective eye on our little sun birds.

Scrub Turkey. When Boy was little his nick name was scrub turkey. They are plentiful and become almost domesticated. Boy loves them and would allow them in the house if he could get away with it. For more information about the amazing Scrub Turkey, see this article we wrote just before Christmas: The Christmas Turkey is moving.

Black Cockatoo. Beautiful and incredibly noisy. White Cockatoos are everywhere. They can be a real pest. Although not uncommon to see Black Cockatoos, they are not a bird we spot every day.

Cassowary. Big, big, big flightless birds. A rainforest species, they are endangered. We had them frequent our house when we lived in the rainforest but we hardly ever see them now.

Eclectus Parrot. Beautiful or what! Their vibrant colours are breath taking. They are common and frequent our back yard.

Wallabies: Very common. They are consistent road kill which saddens us. Because we now live in town we don't have them in our back yard but a drive anywhere around our home results in several spottings of Wallabies.

Paddymelon. This is Boy hand feeding a Paddymelon. They are a small reddish brown wallaby, very cute, shy and common.

Galah. Grey and pink, these are very cute and very cheeky Australian birds. More common in the dry season, we don't see them regularly in our back yard. An Australian slanguage name for a person who is a bit of a fool is "galah."

Ibis. Commonly referred to as the "undertaker bird" (because of the way they look), Ibis' are very common. This one was trying to help itself to our breakfast on the verandah.

Rosella Parrot. These are everywhere. They're really pretty, and noisy. Curious and unafraid they are a common site in back yard trees.

Kangaroo: Boy took this photo of the Kangaroo trying to get away from me. Perhaps it didn't like my perfume. WARNING - Kangaroos can sometimes be aggressive so do not try this at home!

Tawny Frog Mouth Owl. Boy's favorite bird. Have a look at his learning about them: The Tawny Frog Mouth Owl

Jungle Perch. Can you see the fish that Boy is swimming with? Look along the front left toward centre of the picture. He doesn't like it when they come and nibble him.

Mossman Gorge. After a long day of animal auditing what else is a Boy to do but have a swim in one of our local creeks.

We are keen to encourage social understanding and knowledge within our global community of home schoolers. Have a look at an "our community" sharing idea we had. It can be found at the bottom of Scarab Beetles, Winchester House and Social Understanding .

Hope you liked our photographic math audit. We know we live in a beautiful part of the world. Home school and life inspiration is only a look through the window away. What do you think?

If you find these photos inspiring, pop over to the photo contest at An Island Life and vote (between March 9 and 11, 2007) for our natural and tropical Aussie home school inspiration.

All photos by Megan,
except for that one that Boy caught of the Kangaroo trying to hop away from my allure!


Elisheva Hannah Levin said...


I am saving my pennies. N. and I want to go on an animal audit in Australia!

Megan Bayliss said...

You would be most welcome Elisheva.

Thank you for your inspiration. We had a ball counting off the animals and check listing what we have seen in our local area.
Step Dad and Boy followed up by doing an audit of Baked Beans in the cupboard, chairs in the lounge room and rooms in the house. AS boring as that sounds, Boy stayed focused on it for an hour and ten minutes. Perhaps knowing that audits can be fun was inspirational for Boy.

Melissa said...

Those pictures are amazing! I have always wanted to go to Australia. Dh has said that maybe for our 15th wedding anniversary... only 6 more years... I've got my fingers crossed! What part of the country are you in? I need to dig around on your blog a little more.
I'm also inspired that you are homeschooling. Your son has Aspergers? My son has Autism. And the thought of homeschooling him scares me. But, I am considering doing it with my other kids... :)

kailani said...

Not much is more inspiring than the beauty of nature.

Thank you for entering the contest. Good luck!

Megan Bayliss said...

Hi Mellissa and Kailani
thanks for stopping by.

I'm in the far north of Australia. Cairns. We live on the Great Barrier Reef. It is very tropical here and we are surrounded by rainforest on one side of us and ocean on the other.

We have an amazing and spectular variety of wildlife. I LOVE this place.

In terms of home schooling. WE were resistant to home schooling for about 6 months. When things got so bad for Boy at school, I decided that home schooling couldn't be worse. I was scared and angry that my life had to change. was one of the best things I have ever done. Boy is so settled and happy. His meltdowns have decreased, he is learning, he is playing and our home is peaceful again.

Previously we could not have done an animal audit like the one above because Boy just wouldn't have participated. It is home schooling that has turned our life around.

Take care, stay safe.

Gillian said...

Wonderful clear photos... and what a fabulous range of creatures! Our Sydney backyard is excellent for birds and blue tongue lizards, but we're a bit short of marsupials!

Holly said...

What fun pictures. Thanks for sharing!
Holly's Corner

This blog is no longer kept. I am instead blogging only to Imaginif Child Protection became Serious Business