Weed Bouquets and Autumn Time

My Autumn Weed Bouquet

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Our neighborhood is mostly evergreens with a few deciduous trees mixed in. The view from my back window is over a slope leading down to the river and it has very few trees and lots of shrubs and grasses. The grasses are what most people would call “weeds” and in between those grasses there are a few wildflowers like yarrow and asters. The river is lined with willows, the shrubby kind and not the trees. For what it’s worth, I find the view from any of my windows beautiful and refreshing.

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As the winter snows have already started, I’m seeing fewer and fewer short plants as they get buried and mashed down by the snow and ice. There are still a few plants surviving so I took the opportunity a week or so ago to cut some of the autumn weeds for a bouquet to have indoors. It was pretty late for gathering much but I still managed to create a bouquet that makes me happy. Once again, it is a matter of perspective in determining whether a plant is a weed or something amazing to look at as part of an autumn bundle in a vase.

Weed bouquet

My winter weed bouquet from years past.

My husband and I debate about the definition of a weed, an on-going discussion in our family. I say a weed is something growing where you don’t want it to grow, like in a flower or vegetable garden or in the middle of your manicured lawn. But, if the plant is growing, like most of those in our yard, in a natural landscape, I try to leave it as part of the habitat.

In my eyes, my autumn weed bouquet is as pretty as any flower shop bunch of roses.

Invite your children to gather some of your autumn weeds to be indoors as part of your nature display.

Other Entries of Interest and Inspiration

Poetry in Your Nature Journal

Winter Weed Gallery – from my archives, showing lots of winter weeds

 

Outdoor Hour Challenge – Seasonal Tree and Leaves

Autumn Tree Observations Leaves @handbookofnaturestudy

Outdoor Hour Challenge

Seasonal Tree Study and Autumn Leaves

From the Archives and from the Autumn 2010 ebook

Oh how I love this time of year and its colorful trees and shrubs! This week we can all enjoy a closer look at the leaves that make those autumn-colored landscapes. Our family has enjoyed this leaf comparing Outdoor Hour Challenge in past years because it brings into focus the individuality of each tree’s leaves.

Here is a sample of the activities suggested in the challenge linked above:

Compare Leaves from Two Different Trees
• Leaf shape and leaf margins.
• Leaf arrangement on the stem.
• Leaf color, texture, and size. (You can measure if you wish.)

This leaf study will lead very easily to a nature journal entry. You may wish to gather a few leaves to bring inside for a little journaling time. Give your children the option of using whatever art supplies they wish to use to create a meaningful nature journal entry of their own.  If you own the Autumn 2010 ebook, there is a notebooking page for you to use in comparing two leaves for your nature journal follow up time.

If you would like to own this ebook, it is part of the Ultimate Naturalist Library for members. You can find more details on how to get your own membership here: Join Us!

Autumn 2010 Cover ImageUltimate Ebook Library @handbookofnaturestudy

November Nature Walk Project

November Nature Walk Project

As the winter approaches, the temperatures have dropped significantly here in Central Oregon. This makes it hard to remain enthusiastic about getting outside for my daily walk. I did purchase a pair of winter boots to help keep my feet warm and dry on my outdoor excursions.

All I needed now was some motivation.

Then it came to me! Create a daily challenge to walk to the river.

I am such a creature of habit and I know making myself put those new winter boots on and get out the door every day would soon be something I looked forward to doing.  So, I started on the first of November and have so far kept my determination to take the short walk down from my back door to the Little Deschutes River every day.

I chose a spot to take a daily photo, showing the changes and conditions each day. It is just a few paces down from the back fence and it faces towards Paulina Peak centered between two trees and centered over a stump.

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November 1st- just a typical autumn day

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November 2nd – this was a weather transition day and there were quite a few gray clouds and it was getting cold

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November 3rd- woke to a few inches of snow and we took our first snowy walk out to the river.

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November 4th- a lot of the snow had melted but the weeds were still crunchy with ice and the river was getting icy on top.

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November 5th- Back to a snowy landscape…the most snow we have had to date. We were out on our walk and it started to snow with large amazing flakes. Note: I forgot to take my traditional “over the stump” photo so this one will have to do!

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November 6th-  The sun came out in the afternoon and I ventured out with our Kona dog. What a joyous walk! If only every day were this brilliant.

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November 7th-  Still a little snow on the ground and the air temperatures never left the 30′s. The Kona dog and I took our romp down to the river’s edge, noted how cold the water looked today and then rushed home to warm up.

The value of a daily nature walk, even in the same place every time, is something I hope you can experience in your family. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate affair or take very much time for you to see a difference in your attitude and that of your children. The fresh air does wonders for blowing away the cobwebs of an indoor life.

Here a few nature walk ideas from my archives:

No Technology Walk

Use Your Senses Nature Walk

Members here on the Handbook of Nature Study have access to newsletters with nature walk ideas:

October 2013 – This whole edition is filled with nature walk ideas.

December 2016 – You will find the “3 Questions Hike” idea in this edition.