Friday, May 9, 2008

Green Hour Challenge #12 - Focus on Garden Flowers (sort of... not really.)

We have been focusing on flowers for many of our challenges. As we head out on walks and have progressed through spring we have been able to study
Iris' and Blue Flags
California Poppies
and Roses

As well as a few Wild flowers like
and Sour Grass

I love it that my kids are able to recognize these flowers as we go around town or in books that we read. Even my little 2 year old knows tulips and poppies. I love it that they all stop to look closely at the flowers as we take our scooter rides around the neighborhood.

At the moment in our neighborhood there is an abundance of Bottle Brush trees or bushes. Here is a nice big one that we visited.

Of course we had to touch these to see if they were spiky or soft.
They are a much too soft to use as a brush we decided. It is hard to stop kids from picking the flowers so we took advantage of a few that we picked to really look at these, pull them apart and even smell them.

These beautiful red flowers are so plentiful at the moment. They have just burst out during the last week or two and we now see them everywhere. It is almost surprising to see them trimmed into tall bushes like this one and sometimes as trees covered red brushes. Funny how I have lived here for years and never really noticed these red trees as I drive around. Now I can't go anywhere without seeing more and more.

Another thing that we have suddenly started to see everywhere is our tree from last weeks challenge. We learned about the birch tree last week and now the kids are pointing out other birch trees as we drive around or out on walks. Here are two more that are hanging out in our neighborhood.

Sophie decided to actually take her sketch book with her during our walk this week.

She started out just doing some rubbings of leaves. Can you see the Gingko and the Birch leaf rubbings?

Here is a nice rubbing of the leaves of a tree we haven't identified yet. It is nice to look at though. We will have to look it up so she can label it.

Here she actually stopped to sketch that little palm tree. The tree doesn't look like much. It is still so new and not much plumage yet.
Here is her sketch of the little tree. Sophie has decided that the palm trees are her favorite. I guess I had better figure out what kind of palm trees we have in our neighborhood.
We didn't actually start any new seeds this week. We went to take a look at our garden that we planted a while back. Our tomatoes have really grown and this week we finally see some of the little yellow flowers showing up. The promise of yummy tomatoes to come.
Sophie keeps waiting for the flowers to come that she planted from bulbs. So far we are content to see the green leaves get taller. We don't see any stalks yet. But there is still plenty of time.

I didn't take a picture of our strawberries but they too are doing well. They look happy and healthy. They bud and begin to grow the fruit but I think we have squirrels that visit and eat our strawberries. We find a lot of empty stalks or half eaten berries. I don't know if we will get any berries. I don't know how to stop the squirrels.

I took a few minutes to sketch while the kids were "chalking" the driveway. It is hard to draw a tree with all the leaves and branches. I think painting it would almost be easier. Maybe next time we will all venture out with some watercolors to paint. We haven't tried that yet.


Unknown said...

Your family is doing great with their nature study. I love that you just use what you have right in your own yard and neighborhood to get close up with nature.

I love bottle brush, so colorful and it reminds me of Hawaii for some reason. I think there is a similar bush on the Big Island that looks sort of like the bottle brush plant. Does it have a smell?

Please tell your daughter that I am proud of her journal entries. She is catching on so fast and making this her own.

On my blog, I wrote an entry about watercolors in your nature journal this week if you are interested.

Have a great week,
Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Tammy said...

I've never heard of or seen such a thing as a BOTTLE BRUSH tree. How fascinating. I loved the photos. Thanks so much for sharing them with us.

Looks like Sophie is having fun with your green hour challenges. :)

Jamie {See Jamie blog} said...

Great photos, and those bottlebrush trees are beautiful! Love the nature journal entries, too! Thanks for sharing.

Ice Cream said...

You've made me curious. What is sour grass?

I have to admit to feeling a bit of envy at the lovely outcome of your nature adventures. I can't wait till next spring/summer to do this with my kids.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering what you were going to do since you've been doing flowers already! What great pictures, and you are both such good artists! I'm slightly jealous :)