Walking Among the Wildflowers

walking among the wildflowers

I love hiking. And one of my favorite things to do is take my kids hiking. It was tough during the early years but now, with no stroller requirements or restrictions, we are blazing trails all over Orange County. I love seeing how the trails we travel change, especially the ones we frequent. And when the flowers begin to bloom it’s like a magical transformation. We see them popping up at the nature centers that we visit, and along trails and hillsides throughout Irvine and Laguna. California’s state flower is the California poppy and one of the best places to see this flower in all its glory is at the Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve.

Do you notice wildflowers blooming in your area? I can identify a Redwood tree and a poinsettia, but beyond that, I’m pretty uneducated about plants and flowers. On our last hike at Laguna Coast we picked up a guide to the local plants and flowers on the trails. I hope to take a trip out this weekend so we can focus on learning about these plants. What are their names? What are their uses? It surprises me every time we go on a guided hike at the nature center and they pull pieces of a plant off and eat it, explaining how it’s great in salad or to use as bug repellent. I should know these things!

What wildflowers are common in your area? Do you take time to explore the open space and enjoy walking among the wildflowers?

 

Where to See Wildflowers

http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/viewing/

http://theodorepayne.org/education/wildflower-hotline/

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/best-places-see-wildflowers-around-us-180954459/?no-ist

http://www.modernhiker.com/la-hiking/5-best-wildflower-hikes-in-southern-california/

http://gocalifornia.about.com/od/topcalifornia/a/california-wildflowers.htm

 

Education and Activities

http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/kids/

http://www.wildflower.org/youthactivities/

http://www.education.com/activity/article/everyday-darwin/

http://www.education.com/worksheet/article/flower-identification/

 

Books

flowers to color   wildflowers to color   how to grow flowers   gardening for beginners

Making Art from Nature

making art from nature

We are studying natural resources in science right now. We’ve talked about air, water, plants, sunlight, and rocks. Yesterday we compared rocks by using our balance to determine different weights and we observed how they are different and similar. We aren’t doing much experimenting with plants this time though, as a few weeks ago during the unit that specifically addressed plants, we cared for one plant, while depriving the other of sunlight and water to see what the results would be after one week. Both plants are now living happily in our garden. And we did use some of their parts today.

nature art

nature art

We used natural resources to create a picture of natural resources. The kids chose yellow paper to represent the sun, then they used leaves and petals from plants and flowers to create their own flowers. They really enjoyed this project and it was easy to do. Here are the final products:

Natural resource art

Tomorrow, we are going to compare different soils to see how they are different and writing poems about a natural resource of their choice. What kind of projects have you done to learn more about natural resources? We’d love to try some of your suggestions!