Monday, November 23, 2015
This one tiny bloom seems a bit confused about which season it is supposed to be - but pretty either way! One of my favorite things to do on a slow day is go for a nature walk. I can remember as a little girl collecting goodies out on my walks and I haven't tired of it yet!
My children, fortunately, are just as interested as I am which makes it a fun thing for us to do together. We just go outside and marvel together at nature and all the intricate details of it. They made up "acorn skating" today. If you live near or under an oak tree as we do - you hear the loud pops all day and night as they hit your roof, windshield, sidewalk and in our case, skylights. It worries friends who come over sometimes who are not used to the sound!
At any rate, our yard and several others in our neighborhood are covered in a veritable carpet of acorns. This led to the discovery that you can sort of slide over acorns and they will roll you along - ahhh, what we do for fun! And, oh that sweet creativity of imaginative children!
We brought all of our goodies home and sorted into three categories: nuts/seeds/berries; mushrooms/moss/fungi/bug shell and then leaves of various sorts.
I brought my laptop outside and we began our research to learn more about what we'd found - it was interesting as we usually get crafty or artistic with our finds and this was more scientific and like a treasure hunt to notice details and think of ways to describe the item to Google.
We struggled on leaf identification other than the obvious ones but had much better success on our other items.
We learned that hickory nuts are extremely hard to crack and faintly smell like maple syrup inside. We were thrilled to find this one nut above that had a root growing out of one end - what a great visual of the job of seeds!
We learned about those brown cherry looking things on our neighbor's tree - ornamental pear! And, some interesting seed pods came from a crepe myrtle. We also came across three different varieties of acorns and had fun examining the differences.
We learned a lot about how to identify a mushroom and all the differing properties that help narrow down what kind we found. We see so many ugly mushrooms it felt sort of fun to find the quintessential red/white variety.
Lichen. Fungi. Cicada. Sweetgum ball affectionately called a "crouton" by my outdoor-salad-making-children! :)
Magnolia. Maple. Oak. And, other things we haven't quite discovered yet. The variety of color, design, edges, points, texture, stems, thickness - all of it is quite dizzying. God is an amazing artist and we are so privileged to have it right out our door at all times.
Have you taken a nature walk lately? Did you discover anything new to you or especially wonder-full?