Shooting Stars, Miner’s Lettuce, and Hound’s Tongue

Sierra shooting star
 

My husband and I took a walk today to see if we could find any more wildflowers blooming early. We were not disappointed. It was a cool morning and the trail was damp but the sun was bright as we walked down the hill. Not far past the place where we parked the car, we found several beauties waiting for us.
 
Pacific Hound’s Tongue flower



Here is the leaf on the Pacific hound’s tongue that gives it its name. The Maidu tribe used this for stomachaches and burns.

Miner’s lettuce


Unidentified flower. I think it may be a wild carrot but I’m not sure.


This pretty little leaf is poison oak…..it was everywhere around the trail we were on. We didn’t notice it until this time down the trail so we will have to be more watchful climbing up and off the trail from now on. :)

I am learning the value of going on a particular trail more than once to see the differences from time to time. We are getting to know this little hill and every time we hike down it we find something new and interesting.

We stood quietly listening a few times. We were rewarded with the sound of a distant woodpecker knocking on his tree trunk. We heard some California quail with their little unique sounding bird call. If you want to hear what it sounds like, here is a link:
What Bird.com for California Quail if you scroll down the page a bit, on the left side, there is a button to click to hear the quail call.

It was a refreshing hour out in the air and sunshine.

Outdoor Hour Challenge #5 Keeping a List


Outdoor Hour Challenge #5
Making a List

 
1. Have you decided on a focus area yet?
If you have a focus already, turn to the table of contents in the Handbook of Nature Study and skim down to your area of focus. Look down the list of subjects covered in your area. Highlight or underline those items listed that you think you will encounter during the next five to seven weeks. For example if your area of focus is garden flowers, skim down the list and see if you recognize any flower names that you have in your backyard or area. I actually see ten flowers that our family may come in contact with in our region. Pick one item in your focus area to study, turn to those pages, and read to your child about that subject. At the end of each section, there are observation ideas for each subject and these observation suggestions will be the parent’s reading assignment this week.(see below) As you find things in your focus area, keep a running list in the front or back of your nature journal of those items.

Reading Assignment for parents: Read the observation suggestions in the Handbook of Nature Study for the item you chose to read about with your child. Keep these ideas in mind as you have your outdoor time this week. For example, if you are focusing on garden flowers and you are going to read to your child about tulips, turn to the end of the section on tulips and read Lesson 151 which includes eight suggestions for observation. Keep these ideas in mind as you head out for your nature walk.

2. During your 10-15 minute walk, use your senses to not only observe but to hear the sounds of your surroundings.

“ …the mother must not miss this opportunity of being outdoors to train the children to have seeing eyes, hearing ears and seeds of truth deposited into their minds to grow and blossom on their own in the secret chambers of their imaginations”
“No reading aloud or storytelling–in fact, there should be as little talking from her (mother) as possible, and what little there is should have a definite purpose.” Charlotte Mason volume one, page 45


3. Follow up with a discussion. Did you see anything new to add to your list of focus items? Did you complete any of the suggested observations? Do you need to do any further research to answer questions?

4. Give an opportunity for a nature journal entry.
Try to encourage a simple drawing, a label, and a date. Pull out the previous challenges and review the alternatives for younger children.

The main idea of this challenge is to start a list of things you find within your focus area. You can use paper clips to fasten a list into the front of your nature journal. The list can be removed when you change your focus and it can be taped or glued into your nature journal on any page you choose.

bird list in nature journal
The list can be simply the names of the items or you can add the dates you observed them and the location if you want to be more thorough. Sometimes my whole nature journal entry is just a list of things that I see on a particular outing.
nature journal lists
The beauty of a nature journal is that it is yours to do with as you want to. I hope to give you a lot of ideas that you can choose from over the coming challenges.

Getting Started Outdoor Hour Challenge ebook

This challenge is found in the Getting Started ebook which is included in every level of membership. The ebook provides the challenge as shown above as well as custom notebook pages for your follow up nature journal if desired.

Wild Mustard

Spring=Mustard=Allergies
Or at least it is in my world. Mustard is a wildflower that we see in great numbers in our area starting about this time of year. I spotted this patch of mustard growing in an abandoned orchard near my house.
The Handbook of Nature Study, page 460:
“Because of their beauty and scientific value, special need exists for the protection of our native wild flowers and shrubs. It is understandable that these uncultivated plants should attract the visitor, but in too many instances he is not satisfied to enjoy their beauty as they exist in their natural habitats. All too frequently he picks flowers in large numbers, only to discard them faded and wilted a few hours later.”
(note this was written in 1911)
Look at those beautiful flowers.
“Some flowers are so abundant that they can be picked in moderation if the roots are not disturbed, if plenty of flowers are left for seed, and if the plant itself is not taken with the flower.”
Another beautiful spring day.