Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Nature Study - more than you'd think

A week ago Mike surprised me.  He had an errand to run for work that brought him and our van near our house.  So he picked us all up, and then I had the car for the afternoon!  So we took that opportunity to go somewhere for nature study.

I picked a little park just outside the city.  I'd driven to it before, but never really been in the park - so I thought it might be a nice little change.  As we pulled up, I was a bit worried, as it really didn't look like it would be much - it was just fields, a few patches of trees (of the no-underbrush variety), the river, and that looked like about it.

Boy, was I wrong!

Of course, I didn't get the pictures going early enough...   We went through a little patch of trees - and one of the kids noticed that the forest floor was different - so we looked at it closely (picking up a bit) - and they realized it was like really tiny wood-chips...  from trees long ago.  

We also looked at lichen and moss on the trees.

Then there was a nice hill to roll down, which they all enjoyed doing.

Delta rolling down a hill
 Then Echo noticed some clover and picked a couple of flowers.  She also noticed there was some Purple Flowers as well as White ones.

Echo with Clover
 Then everyone had to look at them
Clover Flowers!
Soon we were to a different area - and there were purple flowers.  I don't know what they are called.

Golf examining Flowers

Flower Closeup
 Then we made it to the river.  It wasn't flowing very fast, so it has a bunch of algae growing on the top.  It makes almost a rainbow effect.
Delta looking at River
 Walking along the river we found a tree stump with a lot of mushrooms growing nearby.  I made sure the kids didn't touch them.

Of course you HAVE to throw pebbles into a river
 Then we found some yellow flowers.  (Sorry, I don't know how to rotate the picture on here).  Delta noticed 2 flowers had 6 petals, while the rest have 5.  I suspect that it is similar to the number of leafs on clover?
Golf looking at yellow flowers
 Near the flowers we found a plant that I've always called Foxtails....

Echo and a foxtail
 Then we looked at the Beaver Dam built by the bridge...
Beaver Dam

Then we started the trek back to the car.  We found another area that had reeds and what I've always called Cats' Tails.  (Brown poofy top that turns white...) - [no picture].

I was amazed at the variety of nature we found when we looked, when at first it seemed there wouldn't really be a lot.

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