Winter weeds have become an on-going study for our family. Our winter hikes always seem to include some sort of weed observation.
- Our March 2009 entry showing the beauty of looking at weeds up close: Even More Lovely Than I Imagined.
- Our January 2010 entry shows some of the beautiful silhouettes of winter weeds: Winter Hike to The River.
- In February 2011, we again blogged our Winter Weeds Along Our Walking Trail.
So what did we do to study weeds a little more in depth this year?
- We have been collecting weeds on just about every walk. They have made into bouquets, looked at under the microscope, and drawn in our nature journals.
- We looked for weeds on our last snowshoe hike and made quite a few observations while adventuring in the snow.
- We have been observing our “laboratory” of mullein in the garden as it has changed over the past six months. It isn’t very pretty at this point but we are going to leave it until the spring greening. There are still parts of the plant that are greenish so we figure some creature in the yard might find a use for it.
- Mr. B did the additional mullein research suggested in the More Nature Study Book 2 challenge and then he completed a notebook page.
|Weeds and seeds of all shapes and sizes.|
I decided to sketch and record my weed observations in my nature journal. I am trying to get better at identifying winter weeds
|My mullein entry in progress|
There is just so much to learn about winter weeds….it is like a whole new world to explore once you get started and train your eyes to see beyond the brownness of them. I spent two afternoons just looking closely, sketching, and researching in my field guide.
|My journal included some details of the weed seeds.|
“The farmer and the gardener owe quite a debt of thanks to the birds that eat weed seeds. Of course there are still bountiful crops of weeds each year; but there would be even more weeds if it were not for the army of such seed-eating birds as sparrows, bobwhites, and doves.” Handbook of Nature Study, page 45
I was thinking about this link between weeds, seeds, and birds this week after reading this in the Handbook of Nature Study. The design in the food web is such an awesome thing that we could very well overlook the fingerprint of the Creator if we don’t take the time to learn more about it.
There is always something new to think about and learn from our nature study…even if we have been at it for many years.
Thanks for taking the journey with me.