Something fun that we did in the fall was take part in a swap called Nature Pal Exchange. Through Instagram I discovered this fun way to see and experience a bit of nature in another part of the country. nature pal exchange goodies

We were paired with a family in Alabama who sent us some amazing treasures that they collected and made for us-- things quite different from what we sent them (mostly beach-themed).


We had a lot of fun adding some watercolor artwork and a map of a local nature preserve to our collection for them.

thanksgiving table with preserved leaves

Some items that were unique for us SoCal-ers were the cotton ("It's just like a cotton ball, mama, but on a plant!"), various preserved leaves (which made lovely table decor for our Thanksgiving dinner with our Community Group), a magnolia seed pod, and cicada carcasses.

nature pal exchange

They also sent us a bunch of handmade bookmarks which have come in handy, watercolor art, and maps/postcards. It was so fun! Thank you, Ness family, for all the treasures!

And here's a look at some of what we sent:

CA nature finds

crab bodies