Saturday, September 7, 2013

Nature study: cattails (Fall)

Cattails!  I've wanted to study cattails for a few years now, but haven't.  I have wanted to find a place to get CLOSE to some cattails to study for a long time, but haven't.  I've only been able to find them in hard to get to places like ditches and on private property.  All the ponds around here seem to be missing them.  Well, I finally gave in when I found a nice patch in a ditch that we could easily park next to on an un-busy road.  All we could do was get out and look, we still couldn't get to them, the ditch was too big.  But, I'm at least satisfied that we could get a closer look.  I'm still on the hunt for some cattails that we can get close to and touch for our next study!

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We found this patch next to a corn field.  See the corn in the background?  As soon as the kids stepped out of the car they said it smelled bad (I don't know because I don't smell anything, really I can't smell).  I'm guessing that is because these were in a ditch.  I'm not sure if it is usually stinky around cattails?  Anyway, it was fun to finally get a little closer look at something that I've been pointing out to the kids for a while.  "Oh look kids there's another patch of cattails...that we can't get to.  But aren't they neat looking!  Someday we'll study them, I promise."  After all the times I've said this, it made seeing them at least this close kind of exciting.

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I pointed out the "fluff" that some of them have exploded with, and what that is (the seeds).  We didn't stay long looking at them.  I decided that we could do the rest inside.

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So, we went home and read this book, Near One Cattail by Anthony D. Fredericks.

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 It has some great pictures, and mentions a lot of animals that might be found near cattails.

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So, we painted cattails and turtles...found the idea for this at tippytoecrafts.
This one is Aric's:
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I never got a picture of Aaron's finished picture, but he sure did work hard on his.  He usually doesn't like the art side of this stuff, or have the patience for details, but he really liked creating his cattail and turtle scene.
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 It was a fun little nature study challenge.  I think we'll try to study cattails through all the seasons as Barb at Handbook of nature study suggests.  So, hopefully our next study we will have found a nice place to look at cattails!

Your homeschool friend,

Desiree

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