Welcome, Summer! This month we’ve finally been able to get back to our nature study and our outdoor hour challenge. This month the focus is wildflowers and weeds and we’ve been able to have three nature walks filled with wildflowers and weeds.
Our first excursion was with some friends and we went on a flower treasure hunt- trying to find a flower of every color at a nearby park. Not all of these flowers are wildflowers or weeds, but the kids were so excited to find all the colors. From the list we printed out from the Outdoor Hour Challenge newsletter, we found all the colors but blue. The white flowers we were particularly interested in, since they looked like upside down flowers. Our friends proudly identified the red trumpet blossoms for us.
Next, X-man and Princess K happened to notice that a flower had recently appeared in our front yard. A bright yellow flower had just shot up, almost overnight, in the midst of rocks. Princess K thought it looked like a sunflower. So we took some time during the little boys’ nap time to study the flower. We took pictures of its petals, center, leaves, and from the back. We noticed that it had triangular shaped leaves, a fuzzy stem and a brownish-yellowish center. When we looked it up on Google, we came to the conclusion that we think our Princess is correct. We think it is a common sunflower. X-man took his nature notebook and crayons outside and added a page to his nature journal. We were just amazed at this tough flower pushing its way through the rocks to bring us a little sunshine.
Our last nature walk was in my mother-in-law’s field of wildflowers. We went up to visit her last weekend. I noticed that her field was full of yellow flowers and I got very excited. While the kids were playing with their grandma, I took a walk outside closely studying the flowers I saw. I found four distinct types of flowers: two yellow, one white, and one light purple. I easily identified the dandelion, but I didn’t know the names of the other three. So I headed back inside to do a little research on my mom-in-law’s computer. After a little looking (I love birdmom’s wildflower website!) I found a picture of each wildflower/weed and had them saved on the computer. Once the kids settled down and were ready for a nature walk, I pulled them into the study and had them look at each picture on the computer. They described each flower’s appearance and then I told them the name. We spent a little time studying these pictures and memorizing their names and then I told them that these flowers were in Grandma’s field. We would go outside and go on a hunt for these four flowers: the dandelion, the yellow poppy, the white bindweed, and the purple wild radish.
The kids were excited to have a mission and we went outside in the glorious sunshine and searched the fields. We didn’t have to go far to find tons of dandelions. The kids easily spotted these flowers and saw a bee crawling on one. The next flower they found was the purple wild radish. They were able to identify these by the color and the shape of the blossom. They picked one dandelion and one wild radish flower and then we went off in search of the other two. We found the yellow poppy (that has a bright orange center) next. These were such cheerful, beautiful flowers. After picking one of these, we found a couple of bindweed flowers and they marched to go show Grandma their bouquet. They were able to correctly identify each of the four flowers in their bouquet and Grandma was very proud of them. We didn’t have our nature notebooks, so we didn’t add a page, but the time outside was enough.
What a beautiful month to be outside- though the last few days have been a little rainy and gray- the flowers fill the fields and the berries fill the bushes and little red fruits are beginning to ripen on our tree. Truly the glory and majesty of our Creator can be enjoyed as we drink in the beauty of His creation.