The two wildflowers in this challenge are usually considered weeds and grow along the roadside or in fields. They bloom in early spring and are easy to spot with their colorful blossoms. Look for the mustard and/or wild radish plants in the early spring and on through the summer months.
The challenge this week is to get outside and look for wildflowers, especially those in the mustard family. If you made a list of plants to be on the lookout for in addition to the mustard or radish, keep those in mind as well.
Make careful observations (Ebook users look for a notebook page to print and use.)
Create a notebook page for the field mustard and the wild radish plants. (Ebook users look for a notebook page to print and use.)
Start a mustard family notebook page. Keep a running list over time of the flowers you observe and/or study in this plant family.
Advanced study: Research how the wild radish was introduced and spread across a lot of the western U.S. landscape.
How do you get the new Wildflower Nature Study ebook?
Members of the Ultimate Naturalist and Journey levels have access to the new ebook in their library. You need to click the “Members Area” button at the top of the website, sign into your account, and the ebook is there to download and save for your family to use when desired. If you don’t have a membership yet, I am offering a $5 off discount code that will be good towards your Ultimate Naturalist membership.
Outdoor Hour Challenge Wildflower Nature Study Set #1
Don’t miss the special promotion code at the bottom of this email!
Exciting News! I am creating NEW wildflower challenges based on flowers that I have become familiar with over the years. These are flowers that are NOT specifically covered in the Handbook of Nature Study written by Anna Botsford Comstock. They will be flowers that many of you know about and have seen in real life and now you can use the brand new OHC lessons to create a meaningful nature study for your children. In addition to the specific flower, each challenge will help you learn about a different plant family.
This is a huge undertaking and much more time consuming than I originally anticipated, so I am going to create a series of smaller ebooks and release them over the next few years. I am planning on releasing the first set of five wildflowers by the end of March 2017. Then starting in April 2017, this series of fresh wildflower Outdoor Hour Challenges will post every Friday. The ebook will contain custom designed notebooking pages for each wildflower, including more advanced pages for older students.
Please note the notebooking pages will only be available to ebook users and the ebook will be available for those that have an Ultimate or Journey level membership.
A Little Background
In choosing which flowers to start with in this series, I tried to narrow the list to early blooming plants that many of you will have access to in person. I’ve also included suggested substitutions for flowers that may also be common in your area by listing related flowers in the same plant family. Learning more about the plant families is something I’m going to be stressing in this new series of nature study ideas by referencing the Botany in a Day book and providing internet links for you to use as resources.
Want a sneak peek at the topics?
Wild Mustard and Wild Radish (mustard family)
Shooting Star (primrose family)
Lupine (pea family)
Purple Chinese House (figwort family)
Yarrow (composite family)
This new ebook will be loaded into the Ultimate Naturalist and Journey level memberships soon!
If you aren’t a member yet, you still have time to join and have immediate access as soon as it publishes.
As a special promo, you can use the discount code WILDFLOWER5 for $5 off the Ultimate Naturalist Membership.
Thanks to my blog reader, Shelly, I have now been able to identify my winter wildflower as California Wild radish. (see my original entry) I appreciate all her efforts to help me figure out what my find was. When I had originally observed this plant from 60 mph along the freeway, I did think it was mustard. It wasn’t until I got out of the car and looked up close at it that I realized that it wasn’t just yellow like mustard and that the flowers were very different and a variety of colors. The article that I linked to above explains that many times it is mistaken for mustard. California Wild Radish (Raphanus raphanistrum)
Wildflower Morning is sponsoring a winter wildflower blog-a-thon and this week we were challenged to find a wildflower that blooms in winter. I thought this was a pretty daunting task considering it has been snowing off and on for a few weeks here in our area of northern California.
But I was so surprised on Monday when my husband and I were driving down the mountain and I actually saw some areas with wildflowers blooming right along the road. I had to go back with my camera and take some photos for you all to see. It actually started hailing on me while I was shooting these photos and my husband thought I was a little crazy for sticking it out.
I think I was a little wildflower starved because I took a lot of photos. I want to thank Elizabeth Joy for sponsoring this event. If I hadn’t had the challenge on my mind, I might have missed noticing these beautiful wildflowers. I had my eyes open and alert the last few days searching for something to photograph. I was rewarded for my diligence. Scroll down after the wildflower photos, you will see the added gift I was given while I was photographing the flowers.
I have yet to identify the flowers so I will come back and edit if I come up with something. I tried for about an hour with my field guide and the internet and didn’t come up with a name. I am sure someone knows what they are…..pretty much the same, just different colors.
I look forward to seeing everyone’s winter wildflowers.
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