Matthew and I realized yesterday, that it was a glorious fall day, and decided to get out and enjoy it. We decided that we could handle combining 2 challenges into one and went for it!
Fall Tree Study:
We reviewed (very quickly! a little one wanted to get out and paint ASP!) pgs 14 and 618-622 in the Handbook of Nature Study about trees.
We answered most of the questions from pg 623, Lesson 172, Tree Study-Autumn Work. The answers may not be as complete as they should be because the paper I wrote Matthew's answers on have gone missing. Maybe the strong breeze carried them away...We completed Winter and Spring Work, in TX on a peach tree, in the backyard. We neglected to do Summer Work here, but have decided to start Autumn Work on a hackberry tree in the side yard.
1. What is the color of the tree in its autumn foliage? green and yellow
2. Describe what you see of the tree's roots. They go up, up, up!
How far do you suppose the roots reach down? 20 miles
3. How high on the trunk from the ground do the lower branches come off? about 5 ft.
What color is the bark? whiteish-he stood firm on this
Is the bark smooth or rough? rough (he rubbed his back on it to tell)
Are the ridges fine or course? we decided course, after defining fine and course
Are the furrows between the ridges deep or shallow? deep
4. Describe a leaf from your tree. He had lots of trouble with that, he came up with yellow. We decided it was an oval shape.
Are the leaves set opposite or alternate upon the twigs? alternate
Can you find two fallen leaves the same size and shape? yes, pretty close
At what date do the leaves begin to fall from your tree? beginning of October
5. Do you find any fruit or seed upon your tree? no
Fall Color Walk:
After answering questions, I told Matthew that he could use his watercolors to paint what he saw outside, at this very moment. First Matthew painted painted 2 leaves he'd found on the ground.
Next time I looked, the paper was mostly blue, so I asked what he saw that looked like that, and he said, "It's a tree." I asked if he saw a blue tree anywhere, meanwhile thinking that if my painting instructor from college was around, he'd be agreeing with Matthew that he saw blue in ALL the trees around us. Matthew affirmed he did. Later, when the blue was bigger, he decided it was water, which was also not around.
Later in the evening, Matthew came up to me and declared, "At first I thought it was a tree and water, but I've decided it's the ocean." Obviously, this wasn't a picture of nature here, as we are hopelessly landlocked! At least he painted out in nature. We'll work on the content later.
While Matthew was painting, I asked him to look around and tell me what colors he saw. He not only saw the yellows and browns, but the light greens, greens, and dark greens as well. I was surprised that he didn't have to be coached on looking for the different greens. We noticed and talked about all the black walnuts and burr acorns that have fallen.
I know that we can collect and eat the black walnuts, but Matthew and I now want to learn if acorns are edible for people. We also talked out how to get to the edible nut.
*Matthew and I learned today that you can eat acorns, but you have to leach some tanneric acid out first, which probably why it's not more mainstream. Here's a great article to learn more and find recipes. http://www.californiaoaks.org/ExtAssets/acorns_and_eatem.pdf
In the late afternoon, we gathered leaves of different kinds. We used them for leaf rubbings. It turned out pretty well. Talking about light crayon pressure was very important for this project to turn out.