Friday, April 4, 2008

Green Hour Challenge #7

In an effort to know the plants and trees that we run into out our walks around the block, Our Green Hour was spent on our street, looking at the leaves that are now covering the trees. I spent a little time this week looking through our tree field guide and figured out that they tree that the tree we used to call a "Stickerball tree" is actually a Sweetgum tree. So now I can officially call it by it's name. The "stickerball" is actually a capsule that is refered to as a sweetgum. Sorry this picture isn't clearer but when we were out today we looked at a few of the sweetgum capsules that were still hanging on the tree from last year along side some brand new small green sweetgum capsules hanging right next to them on the branch.

Sophie identified another tree while we were out today. We have read a number of books about trees and different types of leaves and she saw a tree with very distinguishable leaves.
Who knew that we have a whole bunch of Ginkgo trees lining our street. Sophie remembered the shape described in one of the books and pointed it out to me today as we passed by the tree.

When my kids ride their scooters around a culdesac near our house they always stop and listen to the "humming plant" as they call it. (My kids obviously have great imaginations and love to give names to everything.) The humming plant is almost always buzzing with bees. They love to watch the bees at their work. They lean in close to hear the buzzing.
There is always a bunch of bees visiting this bush to look at and watch.
Today I finally decided I needed to take a good look at this bush and the flowers on it and try to figure out what it is. It didn't take me long to figure it out. The smell gave it away. We all pulled a little piece off of the plant and smelled it. Rosemary is an herb and I didn't know it grew in big bushes like this. I have seen it grown in herb gardens but I didn't recognise the purplish colored flowers on it.
So now we know what the humming bush is really an herb.
There are still so many plants and trees that we come across on our walks we could do this for a long time and still not get them all. But we are making progress.

As for the assignment which was to create our own field guide. I haven't officially started a field guide, but I plan to. We have been sick during the last week and a new project just didn't sound like something I could do yet. Sophie did make a poster this week with pictures of the flowers we have seen on our walks the last few weeks.
Maybe when I am feeling more up to it we can start our own neighborhood field guide. It looks like something we will add to for a long time.


Sonja said...

Wow! A rosemary bush! Who knew?
I'm finding with these nature studies that the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.

Bees are fascinating to me too.

Andrea said...

Isn't it fun learning the actual names for things you see everyday. I'm loving these nature studies and all the new things we're learning. I love the poster. What a neat idea.

Cocoa said...

I think rosemary is my favorite herb. I grew it when we first got married and then by accident my husband burned the bush when he was burning weeds one winter.

I am amazed by all the varieties of trees growing in your neighborhood!

Melissal89 said...

Your kids are doing such a great job identifying and recognizing things. And I think it's great that they come up with their own names which suit it well!

Great Job, very inspirational!

In the Sparrow's Nest

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Charlotte Mason and Anna Comstock would be so proud of your children. I love the "humming plant" story. :)

This was a great nature study entry and it warms my heart to see how much learning is going on and you are all having fun. Perfect.

Thanks for sharing your link,
Barb-Harmony Art Mom

School for Us said...

Isn't it fun to learn the names of the things you see all the time? I really want to work on trees soon, as I'm pretty clueless with trees!

I love the poster you all made. What a great idea!

Tina said...

I love your poster! What fun!

LOL about the humming plant. :o)

Anonymous said...

I love ginkgo trees! I think the leaves are so cool. I think there's one growing at BYU and I'm pretty sure there's one at my old high school too if they haven't cut it down for new buildings. I want to get some leaves when they finally come out. We're getting close. I saw buds today!

I think your street is much more interesting than ours :)