Last summer when it came time to say goodbye to our summer nature table and start with our fall nature table things didn't go well.
You see our nature tables are primarily nature. I never quite saw the point in spending lots of money on carved figures representing the seasons when Mother Nature herself offers up the real deal for free. We have the odd home made gnome, or a wooden tree or animal from etsy, but rather than empty my pockets on the "perfect set", I let Zach empty his pockets to form our nature table.
But as Zach collected his treasures over the season, each one became precious. Each one had a story and a memory and a special place in his heart. Summer seems to offer up such a bounty of natural wonders from shells to turtle eggs to whelk egg cases to sea glass and exoskeletons of molting insects. What little boy could possibly toss these goodies back in to nature come mid-September?
So for summer we came up with the jar. We scoop the precious contents of our summer nature table into the jar, label it with the date and season, and set it up on the book shelf. I can't tell you how many times throughout the year he unscrews that jar lid and inspects his summer treasures. And always he carefully puts them back in the jar for safe keeping.