Wednesday Flower Study #2-What Are You Going to Study This Week?

This week we studied the dandelion. This cheerful flower/weed is found all over our yard and our neighbor has a whole crop of dandelions for us to study.

Here are some interesting facts we found out about the dandelion.

*In the sunflower family-No wonder I think they are happy little flowers.
*Grows from 2″ to 20″ tall.
*It has a hollow stalk.
*Common name comes from “dent de lion” which is French for “lion’s tooth”, referring to the teeth on the leaves.
*The flowers open and close.

You must read the introductory pages to the dandelion study starting on page 531 of the Handbook of Nature Study. Anna Botsford Comstock writes in such a narrative style that you will enjoy reading the information and I am sure you will remember much of it to share with your children.

“Professor Baily once said that dandelions in his lawn were a great trouble to him until he learned to love them, and then the sight of them gave him keenest pleasure.”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 531

I couldn’t agree more. I always hate it when my neighbors use the weed eater to remove the thousands of dandelions from their property. I would much rather look at the cheerful yellow flowers than a bare piece of ground.

The Handbook of Nature Study has a great list of activities in the lesson for the dandelion.

Here are a few that we complete:
3. Sketch or describe a dandelion leaf.
4. Take a blossom not yet open. Note the bracts that cover the unopened flower head.
7. Note what hour the dandelions on the lawn close and at what hour they open on pleasant days.

We were able to work on all three of these ideas in our study today.


Here are the bracts covering the petals before the bloom opens.


Really short dandelion that practically is blooming flat on the ground…interesting how some are tall and some are not.


You can really see the “lion’s teeth” in this photo. :)

Another garden flower/weed is now recorded in our nature journals.

I think next week we will work on the tulips in our yard that are just starting to really bloom.

If you would like to join us, see the instructions in this entry: Wednesday Flower Study.

Comments

  1. Barb,
    The flower study looks great.We are still without flowers here.Hopefully we can participate in a few weeks.I know we can read about them, but observation makes it so much better.Thanks for all the hard work.

  2. Did you know that you can EAT the dandilion leaves ? People wash them well and add them to salad, assuming of course they come from a non-treated lawn or field.

    Just a thought to share.

    Grace & Peace,
    Tammy

  3. Tammy,

    I did know that and I have tried them before in a salad…a little too bitter for my taste. :)

    I know that some make tea and jelly with dandelions as well. I am not that ambitious.

    Thanks for the suggestion and reminder,
    Barb

  4. Even weeds can be beautiful painting subjects! It’s great to find pleasure in the little things.

  5. That’s a cool flower study. You must be a good bit further south from us: not even our dandelions are blooming yet. The crocuses are just starting to poke above the ground in my garden, which has me very excited. It’ll be a few weeks yet before our tulips get exciting! Monkey is still a bit young for formal notebooks, but we get outside and look at things, and I can see how just getting out there and observing makes such a difference, even in a very little guy. Plus we have a budding photo album of some of the things we’ve looked at. Thanks for all you do! I hope to participate more fully as Monkey gets bigger!

  6. Wow this is interesting educational concept. I like it. You have really nice blog here. Anna :)

  7. We made dandelion syrup once, long ago. :-) I think we’ll study dandelions next week. I just added a link to what we studied today, though: lesser celandine.

  8. I love the dandelion. My dad would sometimes make fried dandelions for us. Interesting flavor. I really love your blog and all the insights into the book. It gives me inspiration to pick it up and learn more with my kids.

  9. Artichoke loved looking at dandelions this afternoon. I think kids like these because the are big and easy to find and of course for the fun of blowing the seeds all around.
    I have an old essay from Gourmet magazine by Ray Bradbury about revisiting his hometown and getting old neighbors to talk about the dandelion wine that his dad really did make each summer. I can’t find it online, but the essay was Dandelion Wine Revisited in Gourmet June 1991.

  10. My husband had not gotten around to mowing the backyard yet, so we had no problem finding dandelions! I just wanted to say thankyou for sharing some of your life with us; I have been so inspired and I really feel like i finally have a better grasp of nature study :)

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