Thursday, March 27, 2008

What's with the Twigs?

Lately our days have been full and the weather has been fridged cold.  We even got snow that lasted all night last night.  For our temperate climate, that is rare if not unheard of this time of year, but I was prepared for March to end like a lion as it came in like a lamb with the beautiful sit-in-the-grass days.  So we have lots of movies rented from the library, and we are finishing up our study on the Arctic and Antarctic this week.  We are moving on to Africa next week with the arrival of Meerkat Manor.  I wonder if the weather will follow suit?

Yesterday was our nature journal day, but we didn't get to do much but draw pictures of the falcon we saw on our fence last week and write a bit in our books.  So we decided that we needed some more catching up today.  We took a walk around the block (which is technically two blocks) and collected twigs from all the near-to-budding things we could see. 

Can you see it?  All the buds close to bursting if they could just get one, maybe two more days of warm weather?  The plants are feeling my pain. 

In this bunch what I know we have is Forsythia (yellow to the rt), flowering Cherry, Wheeping Cherry (in the front with the droppy pink buds), Apple, Pussy Willow, Japanese Maple, Red Maple, and two kinds that I could not identify right away which I will be thrilled to see pop out of their buds on my kitchen table.  Some of these branches are interesting... whenever we saw a different branch on the same tree we tried to get both.  Some branches have lots of flowers, and others lots of leaves.  There are branches from the same tree, from the same large branch that look completely different this time of year!  It is fasinating.  I can't wait to get my Tree Ring Discovery Kit to go with this experiment. 

As we were walking, a public school friend of Alex's saw us and came outside.  The first words out of her mouth were "What's with the twigs?". I told her that we were going to chart which branches had leaves, and which had flowers and then identify them by bringing them inside and forcing them, because they will think that it has warmed up and open.  She stood there for a second, with her mouth open, and then said "Cool".  I don't think she expected me to answer.  Or at least didn't expect me to have an answer ready.   Um, yes hon.  You are talking to a 24/7 teacher.  ;)

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