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Field Notebook List -Last of the Autumn Series of Challenges

We have quite a list of subjects from out Field Notebook List to study over the next month or so. The last Autumn Series Challenge was a great way to wind up our autumn nature study and the reading reminded me of some important thoughts from Anna Botsford Comstock.

Here is our narrowed down list:

1. Wild geese – We have never studied the Canadian Geese that fly overhead and make their home in the pond and lake near-by. (section in the Handbook of Nature Study)

2. Sequoia tree – We have a sequoia tree in our yard and we have never done a complete study of it and it is high time we do so. (not in the Handbook of Nature Study)

3. Ferns -we know of at least two different ferns on our walking trail and we would like to identify and then sketch them into our nature journals. (included in the HNS)

Mullein 2

4. Mullein – We allowed our mullein to grow in the flower bed this summer and it is very, very tall. In fact, it is still blooming in November! It will be interesting to use the Handbook of Nature Study to learn more about this plant that grows naturally in our backyard.

I think that should give us ample material to fill in on those days we cannot go outdoors for our nature study.

Have you made your list?

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

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Garden Update: Early July

This week’s garden update includes some new munchies from the garden. The poppy above is probably going to be close to one of the last that I have for the year. I love the texture of this blossom, so delicate and papery.

lettuce (3)
I went ahead and picked the last of the lettuce. These are little mini heads of lettuce that taste so sweet and nice, almost like butter lettuce.

lettuce (1)
This is the final crop of mixed leaf lettuce. I don’t really care for the bitterness of these varieties. I think we will plant a different kind in the fall….some that aren’t so strong.

Banana peppers….I can hardly wait!

The hydrangeas are awesome this year. I love the purpleness of this one plant.

Our experimental mullein is blooming. For the first time we left the mullein growing in several spots in the yard and it is now showing us its more beautiful side. The hummingbirds have been investigating it as well. 🙂 The empty feeder is a normal sight in our yard lately. I have a hard time keeping up.

Here is another angle of this section of the garden on a different day. The sunflowers are really tall now, way over my head. See how tall the mullein is too?

I don’t think that I have shared my milkweed’s progress yet. I sent away for some milkweed seeds from and I started some of the seed in pots. I am a little nervous about transplanting it into the garden so I got a bigger pot and I am going to still keep a careful eye on it over the summer.

Amanda’s coneflowers are blooming and the bees are buzzing happily. If you look carefully in the background of this photo, you will see her zinnias have started to bloom as well.

Well, that is a quick trip around our garden this week. Just to a note to myself=We planted bee balm and salvia this week, hoping it will grow now that the weather is hot.


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Wednesday Flower Study #7: Mullein

Wednesday Flower Study Mullein
Mullein-Handbook of Nature Study page 537-539

“This felt on the mullein is beautiful when looked at through the microscope; it consists of a fretwork of little, white, sharp spikes…..I soon discovered another means by which the mullein resists drought, when I tried to dig up the plant with a stick; I followed its taproot down far enough to understand that it was a subsoiler and reached below most other plants for moisture and food.”
HNS, page 537

This is the first time I have left the mullein in the flower bed. I am curious to see just how large it will get and I am anxious for the boys to study the flower stalk once it starts to blossom.

I think I am beginning to see the value of learning about a plant *before* it blooms so we will be vigilantly watching its progress. We read through the information in the Handbook of Nature Study. We had already experienced the long tap root when we were pulling it out of the pathway a few days ago. I would say that the root was about two feet long and at the top it looked like the shape of a carrot. The plants we left in the bed are growing like crazy!

That was our flower this week, now you can pick your flower and see if you can be prepared for your next flower study. 🙂 We have three more flowers we want to study before we finish with Wednesday Flower Study day. You can join us any time you want to, with any flower you want to. You do not need to study the same flower we are if you don’t want to.