Thursday, January 8, 2015

A pine tree nature study

We explored some pine trees at a local park for a nature study one day in December.  I had pine trees in mind because of the recent Hemlock outdoor hour challenge.  I didn't know if there were any hemlocks here, but I did know there were lots of pine trees! And, it doubled as playtime because there is a fun playground to play on too!


I let the boys play a while, then I called them over to gather some of the fallen pine branches with a promise that they could go back to playing.  They weren't so sure about it at first, but they obliged.


I had them lay them out on the table, and we tried to sort them to see if any branches matched or were similar.


Some looked like this...


Most looked like this, with lots of pine cones on it.


I didn't have a field guide on me, so I honestly didn't know what kind of trees they were.  We just had fun sorting by greens, and similarities.


Then we started creating things with the branches.  I made this with Alex.  He loved making his name.


It turned out kinda neat...


Aaron decided to try and make a wreath...


He used some smaller branches to tie the branches in a circle...


He spent quite a while on it...


He realized in the end thought that he needed something better to tie with.  It kind of fell apart when he picked it up.  It was pretty neat though!

I came home and did some research to figure out what kind of pine trees we were looking at. I'm pretty sure most of the branches we were looking at were from Douglas Fir trees. Their cones and soft needles being my biggest hints. 



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