The season seems to have turned almost without me noticing, going from a rather wet summer into full autumn in a matter of days, with a few blasts of icy winter, just to remind us what's ahead. Given that I spend most of my days sitting at a desk in an climate-controlled office, it's all too easy for the changing seasons to pass me by, especially as it seems we take our seasonal cues more from the shop windows (back to school, hallowe'en, Christmas etc) than from what's happening outside.
I'm keen for the girls to understand the cycle of season, and to become good observers of what's happening in the natural world. This year, we have squirrels as well as birds eating from the bird-feeders in the garden - I don't really mind feeding the squirrels - but I'm happy to see a robin, some starlings (I think), and quite a few blue tits. We also have a fantastic ivy on the fence that is full of flowers at the moment - it really needs trimming back but I'm loath to do it before the bees have finished with the nectar.
But beyond these garden visitors, I'm hopeless, I have to admit, and would struggle even now to tell one bird from another, or know the difference between the now endangered ash tree and a birch. So I try and get prepared for the seasons with these fantastic ladybird books; I can learn from them under the guise of the bedtime story! If you get a chance to read one, do, they're fabulous and beautifully illustrated. They're very much of a different time (late 1950s / early '60s) so there's a definite plumminess to them, but if you can get past that, there's much to recommend them.
Oxfam in town quite often has old ladybird books for sale - they make great Christmas presents!