Nature poetry

Turn to the outdoors for poetic inspiration. Sit and observe nature for a few minutes. Notice what you hear, smell and feel. Take your impressions, focus on specific descriptions, and compose a short poem. 

Tips:

  • Read other poems to get an idea for the styles you like.
  • Use comparisons (simile and metaphor).
  • Read it out loud to yourself so you can hear how it sounds.
  • Listen to tips from Kwame Alexander, NPR’s poet-in-residence

Submit your entry by Wednesday, September 30, 2020 to info@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org. Include your name, age, poem (20 lines or less) and the location that inspired it – attach a photo if you want! ORK will award a t-shirt to the top three poets.


Examples

Blackwater Sounds
By: Mel Sparrow

Do you hear the grass?
It makes me laugh
As it blows in the wind
And reminds me of an old friend
The wasps hum
While dragonflies vibrate like a drum
The Kingfisher sings
While the fish scream
Listen to the sounds
As the blackwater’s heart pounds, how it pounds.

Birches (excerpt)
By: Robert Frost
When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.
But swinging doesn’t bend them down to stay
As ice-storms do. Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
Soon the sun’s warmth makes them shed crystal shells
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust—
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You’d think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.

Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour. July 13, 1798 (excerpt)

By: William Wordsworth
Five years have past; five summers, with the length
Of five long winters! and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs
With a soft inland murmur.—Once again
Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,
That on a wild secluded scene impress
Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect
The landscape with the quiet of the sky.
The day is come when I again repose
Here, under this dark sycamore, and view
These plots of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts,
Which at this season, with their unripe fruits,
Are clad in one green hue, and lose themselves
‘Mid groves and copses.

Watershed Trivia

Generic illustration of a watershed

A watershed is a system of how water flows through an area moving sediment, water and dissolved materials into a common point. Think of how a river or creek flows into or out of a lake. The Ogeechee Watershed (see map) has many types of ecosystems within it including freshwater from the Piedmont region, to blackwater rivers and swamps in the Coastal Plain region and runs all the way to the Georgia coast.

Description of Activity:

Submit your trivia answers to info@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org by July 31. We’ll send a free t-shirt for the first one to get all answers correct. Although it is tempting, try not to go straight to Google for answers. Go outside, and look for the answers. Use books and maps rather than the internet for your research, if possible. 

Trivia Questions:

  1. How many watersheds does GA have?  Bonus: Name 3.
  2. How many major river basins does GA have?  Bonus: Name 2. 
  3. What are the 5 geographic regions of GA? 
  4. Name two creeks in your watershed.
  5. What is the biggest city in your watershed?
  6. Name three animals that live in the Ogeechee River watershed.
  7. Name one rare plant that lives in, but is not limited to, the Ogeechee River watershed.
  8. How many people does the Ogeechee River basin provide drinking water for?
  9. Name as many state parks as you can that are located in the Ogeechee River watershed.
  10. What is an aquifer?

May Seeds So Summer Feeds

Watch your garden grow

Having fresh veggies is easy and fun.

Activity is open to all ages and is suitable for homeschool activity for K-12 using Georgia Performance Standards/Standards of Excellence with science, earth systems and meteorology, depending on how in depth your activity is.

Share your photos with Ogeechee Riverkeeper. Send in your sprout pictures to info@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org or tag us on social media.


Thank you to Peyton and Whitley for demonstrating!

Materials needed:
– Empty egg cartons (preferably paper/cardboard cartons)
– Spray water bottle
– Seed packets: tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, watermelons, okra, sweet peppers, and/or marigold seeds & potting soil (can be ordered online or any other ag/garden supply store)
-OR- old potato(es), if you are not able to get seeds and potting soil

For seed packets:

  1. Poke small holes in the bottom of each “egg” for water to drain out.
  2. Fill each “egg” with soil, push a finger in the middle of the dirt up to the first or second knuckle (kids with small fingers)
  3. Drop in seeds (check package for amount of seeds per “egg”).
  4. Use a water spray bottle and spritz each “egg”.
  5. Check seed sunlight/shade preferences. Since egg cartons are light, you can move them around the yard for sun/shade needs!
  6. Once the seeds sprout and start to outgrow the cartons, you can replant them in a garden bed, large pot, etc. You can plant them directly into the ground in their paper/cardboard “egg” because they will decompose; if you used styrofoam cartons, you will need to transplant them.
  7. Make sure to separate each egg either by tearing or cutting.
Seedlings

Additional resources


Potato eyes beginning to sprout

For old potatoes:

  1. Let a few potatoes grow sprouts, also known as “eyes”. These cannot be eaten so instead of throwing them away, you can plant them and they need very little care.
  2. Cut the potato in half or leave whole in most soil types, leaving the eyes exposed. They will sprout in sun or shade.
  3. Water right after you plant them and then let them do the rest of the work.
  4. Water 1-2 times per week if it has not rained.
  5. After potatoes stems have finished flowering, you can go on a scavenger hunt for the fresh, new potatoes in the soil!
Potato sprouting

Additional resources


Need to know what will grow best in our watershed? Visit the UGA Extension Service or the USDA hardiness zone maps.

Remember to share your photos with Ogeechee Riverkeeper. Send in your gardening pictures to info@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org or tag us on social media with #ORKoutside.

Draw a watershed

Description of a Watershed: A watershed is a system of how water flows through an area moving sediment, water and dissolved materials into a common point. Think of how a river or creek flows into or out of a lake. The Ogeechee Watershed has many types of ecosystems within it including freshwater from the Piedmont region, to blackwater rivers and swamps in the Coastal Plain region and runs all the way to the Georgia coast.

(Activity is open to all ages and is suitable for homeschool activity for 3-6th graders using Georgia Performance Standards/Standards of Excellence with vocabulary, science and art.)

Materials needed: a piece of paper and any type of drawing or painting tools. Be creative using what you have at home! Draw a river, creek or swamp system flowing into a lake or the ocean in the middle of your paper (see drawing example). On either side of your river/creek/swamp create an environment that you make up (it doesn’t have to be realistic!) It can be a city, small town, the mountains, a fantastical place, something from your favorite movie, etc. Remember to include plants and wildlife. Be creative! 

Don’t want to post on social media? Email to info@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org. Please include first name, age and hometown.