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Nature & You: Summer fun is heating up

You can use the summer sun's heat for your next art project. [Thinkstock]

You can use the summer sun's heat for your next art project. [Thinkstock]

Summer fun is heating up

The common thread that seems to weave itself into nearly all of my weekly articles is encouragement for you to venture outdoors to experience and enjoy the natural world.

Hello, summer!

Is there any sane reason why you should turn your back on the air-conditioned comfort of your home's comfy living room?

I am here to tell you that there are some things that you can only do during the extreme heat of midsummer. Let me introduce you to solar pyrography. The origins of these words are easy enough to decipher: Using the intense heat of the sun to burn an image on some art object.

If you're strapped for cash, fear not. An old person such as myself has a stash of magnifying glasses squirreled away in both my truck and my home. For those readers with younger eyes than mine, it might necessitate a trip to the store in order to purchase a magnifying glass.

Find a comfortable seat outdoors in the deep shade. Protect your eyes with some good sunglasses. Hold the magnifying glass out into a patch of full sun. Move the magnifier up and down until you have focused the sunlight's heat and energy into a small point of light. Slowly move that wood-burning bead of sunlight across the face of some arts & crafts board. Do you now see the fun of doing this nonelectric art project?

A trip to your local public library will expose you to a wealth of how-to books on pyrography design ideas.

Have fun with the sun, y'all!

— Neil Garrison, NewsOK Contributor

Neil Garrison was the longtime naturalist at a central Oklahoma nature center.

Neil Garrison

Neil Garrison is an outdoor nature enthusiast. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University/Stillwater; he earned a B.S. degree in Wildlife Ecology. Prior to his 2009 retirement, he was the Naturalist at a central Oklahoma nature center for 30... Read more ›

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