So here is my biggest revelation of the week: Not all evergreens that I see in the winter are pines….some are firs. 🙂 Both pines and firs are conifers (cone-bearing) but you can tell them apart by looking at the way the needles grow. Pines have bundles of needles and firs don’t.
That is my very unscientific description and understanding. It is good enough for me right now to recognize that I shouldn’t call all evergreens “pine trees” or even all cone-bearing trees “pine trees”. Sometimes it takes me a long time to catch on to things.
On another note, we have some fun stuff going on at our nature shelf.
We were surprised this morning to observe that the forsythia branches and the twig from our tree study have all started to show signs of blossoming. We brought them inside last week to “force” them to grow earlier than they would outdoors. If you want to try it, here are some instructions:
Forcing Forsythia (or other woody plants like p. willows)
Here is the sweet gum twig.
Isn’t that the coolest thing ever? How amazing and beautiful this twig is as it starts to bud out with the leaves…I assume these will be the leaves. I will keep you posted.
What a great week it is shaping up to be for nature study! These sorts of impromptu studies are the best. We had the field guides out and the magnifying lens at hand to observe the details. We are now deciding that we want to make a bigger space for all our nature collections. I will share what we come up with in the weeks to come.