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Day 8: Writing nature haiku and an animal riddle

Outdoor ideas and inspiration

We understand that this is a difficult time for many people, and we want to help. To that end, we will be posting daily outdoor ideas and inspiration (weekdays only). Being outdoors in nature is good for your health and emotional well-being!

For parents, we will frequently share simple activities to engage your children with the outdoors and keep them healthy and occupied. Check out other ideas on our engagement blog and on Facebook and Instagram.

For all ages, we will post reading material and inspiration to help you make healthful outdoor time and nature watching a part of your new normal. We also encourage you to check out our Harpswell Nature Watchers Facebook group and sign up for Harpswell Nature Watchers emails.

We would love to hear from you! Please share photos from your outdoor adventures and ideas and suggestions for others. Send photos and ideas to photos@hhltmaine.org and we’ll share some of them.

In this post you will find:

  • An animal riddle and link to a Nature Notes article
  • An outdoor activity for all ages: Writing nature haiku

Animal riddle

This animal travels long distances to large, communal dens used for hibernation. These “hibernacula” may contain hundreds or thousands of individuals. You might cringe when you find out what kind of animal this is.  Click here for the answer and to read more about this interesting creature.

Outdoor activity for all ages: Writing nature haiku

on a bare branch
a crow lands
autumn dusk

By Jane Reichhold

Haiku is a form of short Japanese poetry that often captures a moment in time in nature. These poems are fun to write and they encourage us to slow down and observe the world around us.

Often haiku is written in three lines, with five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line and five syllables in the third line. But don’t let counting syllables get in the way of your creativity.

For kids, I encourage you to read a few samples and encourage them to observe nature and write about what they see. Here are a few that my eight-year-old daughter wrote today.

Sophie writing haiku (Julia McLeod photo)

branches grabbing
grabbing the clouds
stretching

sprouting
covered in a winter blanket
blossoming

beautiful trees
growing and falling
trees

(And this one about our dog)
mouse
I’m going to get it
must dig

In Jane Reichhold’s excellent book, Writing and Enjoying Haiku, she lists 24 techniques for writing haiku. I’ve listed a few of them below to get your ideas flowing.

  1. Comparison
  2. Riddle
  3. Narrowing focus
  4. Metaphor
  5. Sketch (paint a picture)
  6. Pun
  7. Nostalgia
  8. Mystery
  9. Improbable world
  10. Humor

Why not give haiku a try! And please send us your favorites. We’d love to share them on our website and social media. Send them in an email or photo to photos@hhltmaine.org.

Sophie’s haiku