Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Green Hour Challenge #6

“It’s a good thing to learn more about nature in order to share this knowledge with children; it’s even better if the adult and child learn about nature together. And it’s a lot more fun.” Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv

I love this quote that Barb over at The Heart of Harmony included with the Challenge for the week. I totally feel like I am learning so much about the flowers and things that we are taking a close look at during our walks. I notice so much more about the flowers but also really enjoy watching the trees around me all pushing out their spring leaves after being bare all winter.
The Challenge for the week was about starting a collection. To be honest we didn't collect anything. My little guys are always bringing home rocks and sticks but our rule is always that they stay outside on the step. I hate to break that rule and bring them inside so our collections will have to be enjoyed out on the step as usual.

But for our study we read about Tulips. Sophie actually sat and read through the Handbook of Nature Study with me about these flowers and we looked through the different things it lists to look for and picked a few of those to remember. Then we went out to find some tulips. I knew of a patch of them that are just around the block and not in someone elses yard. We pass by it all the time as we drive about. So we headed that direction.

The Tulips are mixed in with a bunch of other flowers but we got really lucky and saw some tulips in different stages of blooming.

Here is one that is already starting to change color and grow its long stem.

Here is one just still green

And of course we looked inside some already big and beautiful ones to see the star shaped centers.
And took a good look at all the different parts of the flower. We also talked about why people plant these from bulbs rather than seeds. 5 to 7 years is long time to wait for a seed to finally grow a flower. We also talked about other flowers that are also grown from bulbs. Our Amaryllis at home is still going strong.

As we continued our walk we spotted a few in different peoples yards. We ventured into one front yard because the tulip border was just so lovely and we wouldn't disturb anything if we just went up to take a closer look.
We of course had to look for the star shapes in these and look at all the different colored tulips.
As we continued our walk around the block we couldn't help but look at all the different beautiful flowers that are all out right now.

Sophie and the boys of course had to pick a lot of dandelions. So we also took a moment to talk about why they are called dandelions and looked closely at the leaves and the puffballs of seeds with parachutes. And of course we had to do our part to spread those seeds around.

Here are a few other flowers we saw on our walk. We are going to have to study some of them next time.


Peach blossoms


Later in the day we went on our hike with some friends and guess what we saw again.These kids are getting really good at spotting Salamanders.

Sophie didn't do a drawing this time. I don't know exactly what happened but it just didn't happen when we got home. We were a bit busy and the boys were a bit cranky. Maybe that has something to do with it.

But is was a great outing and we are really enjoying our walks around the block to see what we can see and really enjoy our weekly hikes with friends.


My Ice Cream Diary said...

These pics are gorgeous. I love the orange rose by the fence. You are making me very impatient for summer. =)

Julie said...

Beautiful! I can't believe how many flowers you guys have out already! Our Spring season is just barely beginning here. We are only seeing bits of green here and there. Very little bits. :-)

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Your photos are so beautiful that they made me tear many colors and so gorgeous. Don't you love how the Handbook helps you "see" things more than you did before? I love that it helps us parents find ways to discover things around us that have been there all along and we didn't notice them.

I know a family that has a little table outside their backdoor and they keep a seasonal collection of nature items on that table and not in their house. I thought of that when I read your blog...if I find the blog entry where she talks about it, I will pass it on to you. :)

Have a wonderful week. Thanks for sharing your outing.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Cocoa said...

I can't get over how many beautiful flowers are blooming where you are already! We are still looking at beige country here. And I agree with the quote you shared. Exploring nature is a lot more fun when adults and children are involved together.

Tammy said...

Oh what GORGEOUS photos!!!!!

We still don't have any flowers out yet in our area, but I think they will be coming soon.

I am loving these green hour challenges as well.....we are learning to really pay attention to nature.

Malissa said...

Gorgeous flowers! We've been noticing some beautiful ones in our neighborhood too! Our cyclamen and azaleas are really nice. I'll have to post them:)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos. And I learned so much about tulips just reading this post, very neat! I love the star shape inside. And we always take time to help the dandelions spread too!

In the Sparrow's Nest

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures! I love all the tulips. It's still pretty drab here although we've seen crocus and daffodils and we have this odd patch of lilies right by our back door.

School for Us said...

I love your beautiful flower photos, too! What a colorful neighborhood you must have! We are fully into spring here in Texas and see quite a few flowers, too. But, I miss the irises - like the purple one you showed. I grew those when I was a little girl and they don't grow down here - at least I couldn't get them to ever bloom (I transplanted some) and I've never seen any.

Angela said...

WOW- I am just going to sit and look at this pictures all day long- We just received another 6 inches for a grand total of 111 inches this year- a record for the last 50 years. This is so fun to look at ! Thanks for bringing a bit of sunlight and color into my winter!

Andrea said...

I love the photo of your daughters hands inside the tulip. That is so precious! I am jealous of all of those flowers. What a wonderful nature study. Aren't these challenges great?!

Sonja said...

I wish you could hear the intensity in my voice when I say, "Waaahh! I want to be where Sea Star is!" It's really not so bad here. We don't have 6 in. of snow like poor Angela. But still, those pictures are so dreamy. I especially love the cherry blossom one. I'm glad you enojyed your green hour this week. I sure enjoyed you green hour this week. :D

Sonja said...
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mamasmurf said...

What beautiful tulips! Your quote about how long a tulip would take to grow from a seed reminded me of the story about "The Black Tulip" and the race to produce a purely black tulip.
Great photos as usual!

Tina said...

Your pictures reminds me of the artist Georgia Okeeffe. It makes me want to make a pictures. :o)

We have been finding salamanders in our neck of the woods too.


Becky @ Our Green Hours said...

I really enjoyed your entry. Great pictures of beautiful flowers.