Friday, October 19, 2012

OHC - The Oak

When I told the girls that we were going to be looking at the Oak tree for our OHC - they were really pleased. Our introduction to this challenge was done with some friends at our bi-weekly Friday co-op.

'Although from two to three hundred years is the average age of most oaks, yet a scarlet oak of my acquaintance is about four hundred years old, and there are oaks still living in England which were there when William the Conqueror came' - pg 640, The Handbook Of Nature Study

As it turned out, our friends had the privilege of actually visiting one of these very old oaks down south a while ago. All the children were suitably impressed with this account and were quite amazed upon learning how long it takes an Oak tree to mature (100 years) and that no acorns are produced within the first 20 years. So interesting! We took our walk, gathered leaves and made our leaf prints - all of which remain unrecorded here as I forgot my camera!
Yes - we hug trees :o)

But our Oak story does not end here. The next day we paid a visit to our local woods, a magical place. Here you can find magical things carved into the trunks of trees...

You can follow water ways...

and come out and enjoy panoramic views...

We found some magnificent Oak trees, with leaves turning the most beautiful shades of yellow. We found one tree which had a few small acorns so we picked a twig and brought all our finds home. We later dipped our leaves and acorns in bees wax - they now have a place in our autumn nature display...

This particular study has felt like a series of puzzle pieces being fitted together over a couple of days. On the Sunday another piece of the puzzle slipped into place. We watched one of our favourite weekly programs, CountryFile, a program which focuses on the English countryside, current issues affecting it and the people who's livelihood is sustained by it. 

They happened to feature a very interesting story about a grand old oak that had not even reached it's prime at three hundred years. It had been cut down in the 1950's or so. It had caused an out cry amongst the local villagers as the oak had been a bit of landmark, a meeting place and general village notice board. But it was obstructing views for road users and had to go. It was interesting and sad to watch them cut down this wonderful tree, and this little feature seemed to fill out our oak studies a little more. 

We plan to keep on observing our local oak trees, we feel that there is so much to learn by observing them year round, that it would be silly to simply shelve away out notebooking pages and leave it at that :o) 

Another lovely study which lead to much learning and heightened awareness of the oak, and precious time spent together in our beautiful English countryside!


  1. What a wonderful glimpse into your oak tree study...I enjoyed hearing how it wove around so many things you did this month. I think you are smart to keep this study going over the seasons and this week's challenge will have a nice printable for you to use if you like. :)

    Thank you for sharing your entry with the OHC.

  2. I'm glad you go to visit a venerable old oak. There is a white oak near us that they think is 450 years old! I just love how Barb's challenge gets us all outside and enjoying what nature has to offer.

    I like your autumn nature display, too.


  3. What a lovely story and what lovely photos to go along with it.

  4. Beautiful post. What interesting tree carvings in that park you visited, too! I love how you didn't just set aside an hour for a tree study, but kept it going.

  5. Beautiful post, thanks for sharing! Darlene


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