Friday, November 04, 2011

OHC - The Thistle

Joining Barb for The Outdoor Hour Challenge
Well here we are in November. I swear I don't know how time passes me by so quickly! We are only weeks away from Christmas and I have only just started with my list planning and gift making. In fact life seems full of bustle at the moment, so it is lovely to take this time each week to just slow down and get to enjoying nature. We always come back refreshed from the bracing air at this time of year and with a song in our hearts inspired by the trilling birds as we soak in the peace that is nature.

After having received Barbs beautiful monthly newsletter, packed with this months challenges and so much more, I decided to kick off this months nature study with a look at the Thistle.

First I read pages 524-526 of the Handbook of Nature Study. I was really suprised at how interesting the plant is! To me it has always just been a 'weed'. But it is so much more. It has a host of creatures and critters that just love the taste of it AND it is an edible plant for humans. No wonder it is so prickly!

Once armed with all this prickly knowledge, we watched this little video off YouTube. It is not narrated, so I imparted my thistley knowledge while the girls watched.

Next it was time to get out into the fresh outdoors and go a-thistle-hunting. The girls rushed up to their room, each coming down with a little nature bag filled with useful things like notebooks, pencils, specimen jars and scissors and a pair of tweezers to gather some prickly thistles. BTW - I had not said a word about gathering all these supplies, it was all self-motivated on the part of the children. I just love how our nature study has gone from me leading to the girls taking ownership!
The thistle's are all dried out in our neck of the woods

As if to prove how delicious these plants are - even in their dried state - baby snails were feasting!

Of course you cannot walk by a pile of autumn leaves!
Once back from our walk, it was -as usual- nature journal time. Again, I am pleased with the pages. I see so much growth each time we work in them - especially in my youngest! Here are our pages...
Mama's bears page

Baby bears page

Sister bears page


  1. Wow, Shirley! I had no idea about all this thistley info! Thanks for this post. We have tone of thistles on our farm. Next week, we will go thistle hunting. Thanks for the inspiration..and your daughters' nature journals are wonderful! :)
    Blessings to you,

  2. We didn't get to do thistles as it is our week off - so really enjoyed reading your info. And love the photo of VL and JL in the autumn leaves :) Have a good week, my friend

  3. I loved seeing your thistle study....I too think they are much more interesting after getting to know them up close. Wonderful journals and it warms my heart to hear that your girls are taking ownership of their outdoor time. Love it! Thanks for submitting your entry to the OHC.

  4. Our thistle was all dried out as well.
    The journals are very pretty :-)

  5. Your journal pages are awesome! I love that you included yours as well as the girls.

  6. These photos are lovely, and your nature journals are very inspiring. Thanks for sharing your thistle study!

  7. Lovely nature journal pages. Thistles are so amazing. We learned so much about them when we raised painted lady butterflies, and learned the larva eats thistles, so we were able to raise a second generation of butterflies, seeing the whole life cycle all the way through because of the thistles that grow nearby. When the second generation of butterflies hatched, we set them free out in a thistle patch. What fun!


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