The world of Winter Weeds. This is a part of the Winter Wednesday series at the Handbook of Nature Study. We went on a 2 mile nature walk (just happened to be on a Wednesday!) and we enjoyed looking for weeds. We also read Chapter 6, Winter Weeds, in Discover Nature in Winter, and learned about these wild successful plants.
Weeds, of course, are any plant that is considered useless. But, it is hard to imagine our Creator making anything that is useless. His creation is so intricate and complex ~ there must be a reason for every little detail of His creation.
For the purpose of this study, a weed is anything that grows wild in the field and woodlands . . .
. . . or along a creek. We all loved the icicle wall formation along the banks of the creek. We also tried to imagine how pretty this will be in the Spring.
Winter weeds generally come subdued shades of brown, tan or grey. We tried to see how many different shades we could find. We also found shades of white and green.
A new term we learned: inflorescence - a shoot with clusters of flowers. Other than that, the clues to winter identification presented in the Discover Nature in Winter book, helped me little.
We even saw a few weeds we would do well to avoid:
It is hard to live in Wyoming and not be able to identify Sage brush. The light green fuzzy leaves and the familiar smell are hard to miss.
We thought this was interesting. It is some sort of red colored growth. It was covering multiple branches of the bush.
We also identified some wild rose hips. When fresh, they are a great source of vitamin C and I quizzed the boys on how they could prepare it for use (make a tea, they said).
We also thought this was fun to look at.
We call them "Cotton Trees," but there may be a more scientific name for them.
It looks like cotton with a tiny seeds that can be carried by the wind.
We walked a total of 2 miles and enjoyed a little picnic along the way. I wish we would have brought home some samples to compare and study at home.
We especially enjoyed having the kids' grandma and great grandma (Luke's mom and grandma) along for the walk.
This was our first time on this nature path and I am really looking forward to coming back to this spot in the Spring and again in the Summer. It will be fun to see how it changes. And I seriously can't wait to do more weed study this summer ~ last summer we found some of the prettiest weeds.