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Nature & You: Some days you just have to stay indoors

When spring storms bring dangerous lightning, it's time to study nature indoors. [OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES PHOTO]

When spring storms bring dangerous lightning, it's time to study nature indoors. [OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES PHOTO]

An indoor activity for a lightning danger day

If you're a regular reader of this column, you probably have taken notice by now that I'm a big fan of refrigerator magnets. Those snazzy little gadgets come in pretty handy when you need to file some tidbits aside for future reference.

With that intro, let me segue into "Parenting Tips 101." I'll subtitle this one: "Nature Education Ideas for a 'Stay-inside/Rainy Weather Day.' "

We're going to be experiencing those days of frustration and anxiety on which the threat of death via lightning electrocution forces you to remain indoors. Parents, prepare yourself for this plea of heartfelt desperation from your beloved offspring: " ... but, Mom! ... There's nothing to doooooooo!"

Let me steer you in the direction of a good indoor project for rainy day relief. First off, the challenge is to guess how many entries would be on a list of all the street names that have a direct connection to items in the natural world (i.e., elm, oak, quail, etc.).

Next, access a website on the internet that pulls up a view of all the city streets in your community. Keep track of how many names meet your search parameter. At the contest's end, count up all of your finds.

How closely does this match your earlier estimate?

The serious side of this activity is a clear and unimpeachable illustration of how city administrators have a warm, loving bond with elements of our natural world.

Rock on!

— 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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