Monday, February 2, 2009

Winter Trees

Have you been over to the Handbook of Nature Study blog yet? This week Barb is working on tree silhouettes. I love to follow along with her but the further we get into our school year, the harder it is to keep up with her. I mean I'm all about studying nature and getting outside, but the weather here is a little rough at the moment to be sitting outside and observing a tree skeleton for 15 minutes. I'm just not hardcore enough for this! My kids might be but without me leading them on, I don't think the tree would captivate them for long.

However, I know that R8 would jump at the chance to do more winter tree drawings. So, we're going to give this a go on some level early this week. Plus, I just firmed up plans with J3 as he went to bed last night. We will be starting a funny tree book and after reading our Big Backyard Magazine as one of his goodnight books, he wants to include bighorn sheep in his book. I have to think on that one!

This book is terrific! Copyrighted 2008, it is pretty new. It talks all about trees in winter and what is distinctive about various tree skeletons. It tells how to identify a tree by its skeleton. Pretty cool. At the back are a bunch of tree silhouettes. R8 is eager to try them out. J3 just loves the hemlock and spruce trees- you know "funny trees".

I don't know how he got to calling our evergreens funny trees, but he does. All the time. Do you remember the commercial for green bean casserole they were airing over the holidays? The one where the evergreen tree reaches in the window to take the casserole after he smelled it?? J3 nearly fell over when he saw that- big eyes and all. I assured him our trees would not be reaching into our windows to get our food. Everywhere we drive he yells out when he sees an evergreen. In this rural area that means he says it over and over and over...

Winter Nature Study
by Five in a Row - this is a gem of a resource for discovering nature in winter with your kids. There are tips on nature journaling with all ages, art projects and links, nature journal template sheets, music, stories, information on animals and plants during winter, weather observations in winter, and a whole lot more.

Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock is another great resource. I know I've mentioned it before, but I like to refer to it whenever I do a nature post like this so readers don't miss out on it! Mrs. Comstock was the first female faculty member at Cornell University. You can also see the full text of the book online. So check it out!

Some more "funny tree" activities:

All of those links are from Art Projects for Kids- one of my favorite online sources for kids art/crafts.

My intensity really speaks to the fact that here in NY we have a long way to go before the weather changes. March will really hit me hard. Back home in Maryland, the weather has changed by then. Here there's a lot of dirty snow and not much else going on. I will say I have learned to appreciate other signs of spring that do not coincide with warm sunny days that won't arrive until May...Ok I must stop now. Back to enjoying the snow!

And back to purposefully keeping the cabin fever at bay...

1 comment:

Lynn said...

Heather, I love reading about your nature studies. That is hilarious about the commercial and the wide eyes! Isn't it funny what children get taken up with and think about?

Thanks for the links, too. I've got them marked.

I know you've got it much colder than me, but I'm trying to enjoy winter too, all the while dreaming of spring.