I am so glad that fall is here! Finally cooler weather and more opportunities to get out and about. Last week we had such nice weather that I took some of my kids for a nature walk at our favorite walking place, Minnetrista.
The first thing we spotted was a butterfly. My younger girls were so excited that they found their butterfly! (We raised butterflies at home earlier in the year and now whenever they see a Painted Lady butterfly, they think it is one from our house–lol.)
Honesty, we started the walk looking at the changing colors of the leaves, but that didn’t hold the little girls’ interest for long. Instead they found various “treasures”. We noticed how the bark on trees can feel different, we saw bees and butterflies, birds and shelf fungi. There are so many beautiful things to observe in fall!
While we were outside observing nature, my older kids were inside observing nature! Normally spring is the ideal time for observing flowers, but since my older daughter was helping out at a local greenhouse, we thought going into more in-depth study now would be perfect timing.
We jumped ahead to Module 14 and 15 in our Apologia Biology Book. We were able to get a variety of flowers from our local grocery store (thanks Marsh!) plus picked a few sunflowers growing in our backyard.
The girls worked on finding and identifying parts of a flower. What I love about this activity is that is isn’t just for older kids. Younger kids love to have hands-on flower observation experiences too!
The “ah-ha” moment of the day was observing pollen under a microscope. The girls were only able to get pollen from the sunflower we picked outside (which made us wonder if store-bought flowers go through some process that removes much of it). All that yellow on the slide is sunflower pollen. This is where I wish I had a microscope camera. When we looked a the pollen, it was awesome! It reminded me of one of those sensory balls my toddler owns. Do I dare say that the pollen looked beautiful? As much as I hate it in the spring when my allergies are acting up…
So go on a walk this week! What fun treasures will you see?