Little Green Hill

Welcome to our hill!

This is a place to join us in learning about and connecting with nature, figuring out how to share space with wild things, and turn our inner scientist loose.

This page is just starting to be built, so be sure to drop in from time to time and see what’s getting added!

go explore

Plan an adventure – to the woods, to a neighborhood park, or even to your own backyard. What do you discover when you pause to tune into your senses? Ask yourself a few research questions, then create some art or map out a project.

know your terms

What is the difference if we say something is poisonous, venomous, or an irritant? Be wise to what’s what – but also consider the value these plants, animals, and fungi add to their environments.

get organized

Learn about taxonomy – the way in which we categorize and name the organisms that inhabit our world – and practice classifying a species in your own neighborhood.

be eco-friendly

Make every day Earth Day with a rainbow of ways to help our planet: a wildlife check-in, a vision board craft, environmental puzzles, a research & writing prompt, an enrichment project, and a list of books and other resources.

grow your writing

Use this nature-based visual to help craft an article, essay, or paper.

Our Little Green Hill

Years ago I fell in love with a poem by e.e. cummings that begins:

o by the by
has anybody seen
little you-i
who stood on a green
hill and threw
his wish at blue”

~ quoted from “100 Selected Poems,” by e.e. cummings

When I bought my wooded acre perched on a knob, it quickly became known as Little Green Hill, and the name has been lovingly attached to many things in our lives since.

During lockdown in 2020 I realized I was having trouble with my eyesight, which turned out to be Stargardt’s disease, an untreatable form of macular degeneration. The hardest part was the thought we might have to move to town if my driving was impaired and leave our property. It inspired me to begin writing a chapter book for my son, House on Little Green Hill, filled with the wild characters we have formed connections with over the years. That book, not yet published, in turn led me to create a picture book series, which celebrates our love of nature, reading, and learning.

The stories focus on one new piece of Nye’s environment each month, with additional themes woven throughout. These books are meant to appeal to a range of ages, and the downloadable PDF that comes with each includes projects, activities, and resources for the whole family. Reading together is one of our favorite things to do, so it was important to me for families to be able to share both the story and the supplementary materials and gain from everyone’s input. There are multiple areas of study covered within the downloads, including science projects, art, health, language arts and more.

We have grown to have a true connection with our natural environment here on the hill, and I wrote about our slightly unusual existence here in the post Almost Home. I’m sure it’s not for everyone, but I’m glad for the sense of community we feel with our fuzzy, feathered, scaly, many-legged, and other wild neighbors. I hope our little zoo of a home helps everyone look around their own piece of turf with a renewed sense of curiosity, compassion, and wonder.

The Little Green Hill series

Nye in January: Armadillos

Join Nye and the mice in meeting this delightfully different mammal who is new to our area while thinking about the effects of climate change.

Nye in February: Wood Frogs

In February, Nye learns about wood frogs – extremophiles who can survive harsh environments no other frog can – and meets Trooper, the first tadpole we ever raised.

Nye in March: Carpenter Bees

In March Nye explores the gentle giant of spring, and one of my favorite creatures – the carpenter bee, while Bounder and Tennyson try to find some common ground.

Do you already have the series? Don’t forget to submit the code at the end of each book to claim the accompanying packet, plus visit the Eclectic Kids page to download activities based on each of the mouse characters.