Friday, September 02, 2011

OHC - First Nature Walk of the New School Year!

This little copse of trees lies just down the road - perfect to collect seeds.

As we have in the past, this year, we will continue to use Barb's Outdoor Hour Challenge to guide our nature studies. With this months newsletter guide being Weeds, Seeds and Other Delights - we were excited kick off our first nature walk with our focus being 'seeds'. 'Other delights' will come along with us at each walk as I have come to realise that nature tends to throw these in at every opportunity. Today was no exception and we were blessed with a double delights whammy! But before we get ahead of ourselves, let me start at the beginning.

Before setting off on our walk, we printed off these cute little seed collection bags (link in Barbs newsletter). We spent 10 minutes putting them together which got the girls into the spirit of things. I included a little home-made notebook which slotted into their little bags and a small pencil each.

Having all the necessary tools (mine being the camera and field guide) we set off down the road, enjoying the early Autumn sights, sounds and general atmosphere. Our first task was to see who could spot the first sign of Autumn...

The girls had eagle eyes this morning and both yelled out their sighting of leaves changing color.
Our way was just ladened with evidence of Autumn fruits and seeds. Our little bags filled up quickly.
I'm pretty sure this is of the Rowan family but could not find its name.

Berries of the Rowan or Mountain Ash (Pyrus aucuparie)

Hips of the Dog rose

 Now to quickly share our double delight. As we were walking we spotted an apple tree ladened with fruit, then another and another. These trees were not in anyone's garden, just by the wayside. Of course we could NOT resist filling up our nature collecting bag which I had fortunately brought along. I have taken out some blackberries from the freezer and tonight we will be making blackberry and apple crumble to celebrate the start of this wonderful Autumn season - (one of the dishes on my themes and plans post). I will pop in later or tomorrow to share the recipe.
Delight #1 - fresh crisp apples

While the girls were up the tree, I spotted some sweet peas growing wild in amongst the brush (delight #2) and so picked a small posy to grace a jam jar at home ;o)
Delight #2 - Sweet peas growing wild.

Once our hands and bags were filled with natures bounty, we headed for home to record our treasures in our nature journals. I set up a small disply of our treasures...
Our nature finds.

labeling each one with it's common and Latin name. This is something new I tried out today and I found it to be successful. The girls were able to see exactly what it was they were drawing and the correct spelling for their  journals.

With such a bounty of nature treasures, the girls chose 3 or 4 things to draw and paint in their journals. I took out my own journal and realised that it has been exactly one year since I spent time in it!!! I was shocked that I had let so much time elapse between entries. I find the time spent journalling relaxing and therapeutic, but realise that with the upheaval of our international move I have found little time to indulge in this pastime. We spent a good two hours on our journals and loved every minute. I was post impressed to the the improvement in my youngest's journalling. Here are our finished pages...
J-L's Page

V-L's Page

My Page
What a lovely end to the week!


  1. Wonderful nature study walk. I love the journals and blackberry&apple crumble sounds delicious!

  2. That sounds so much fun! Your girls are blessed :)

  3. This was a wonderful start to your autumn study and I love seeing that you used the printable collection bags. Two delights indeed! I really enjoyed reading your entry, seeing your images (girls up a tree), and your journals. Perfect job! Thanks so much for sharing your entry with the OHC.

  4. This was beautiful to read. I love your watercolour journal entries. I was also reminded of the few times we have picked wild apples and loved the experience and the sweet results.


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