Nature Journaling #224: Just the Facts on Cincinnati Fossils

Nature journals are a fun way to pass the time. To many Great Parks nature interpreters, they are a tool that fosters meaningful connections with the natural world.

Join us in keeping a nature journal throughout 2021. This is your journal – something to help you connect to the natural world around you and make discoveries along the way.

You can make note of certain things every day, like the temperature and weather conditions, and then work on the prompt we’ve given you. Or you can draw what you find during your nature observation time. Or a mixture of all of those things! And don’t worry, if the weather is too awful to go outside for your nature observation, take a peak out a window from the comfort of inside your home! If you do venture outside, you may want to take a small pocket notebook to make notes or quick sketches to work further with them when you get back inside. Also, use a pencil – ink in a pen could freeze if it is too cold! Any notebook will work for your journal.

Fossils from the Ordovician era.
Ordovician Era fossils like these can be seen all along the Gorge Trail at Sharon Woods.

Today’s Prompt: Just the Facts on Cincinnati Fossils

Today is the unofficial holiday of Old Rock Day, a great time to take a look at what is at our feet: rocks and fossils.

The Cincinnati region is known worldwide for Ordovician Era fossils. If you have access to a creek or rocky cutout along a road, those are great places to look for fossils. If you do not live near such places, do some research on Cincinnati’s fossils – crinoids, bryozoans, brachiopods and more! Which one is your favorite?

Check out our Finding Fossils guide to learn more about the types of fossils found in Cincinnati. Can you find them all on your next park visit?

A Few Tips for Success:

  • Work with your child’s attention span. If they aren’t enjoying an activity, allow them to choose a new one. If they are highly focused, give them plenty of time to continue the observations.
  • Allow creativity. Children often have interests that go beyond the questions we pose. Create a safe environment so they can create and explore on their terms.
  • Journal along with your child. You never know what you may discover and it’s a great way to spend some quality time together.
  • Try activities at different times of day. Observations may change with time and temperature.

Want to try your hand at different nature journaling topics? Click here for more prompts.