The Spring Journal: Moss and Lichen

During our Signs of Spring Outdoor Challenge, I happened upon some beautiful moss and lichen growing in abundance by the creek on our property. So, when I sent the kids to explore the creek for signs of spring, I had them make note of all the moss and lichen growing so we could do the Outdoor Challenge #42 Moss and Lichen.

Isn't this a pretty picture? I love the contrast of the old tree and all the moss growing around.

I loved the following shot as well because of the reflection of the trees in the water and the moss growing on the rocks by the water. This is the source of the water in our creek. It is a small spring that gives just enough water to keep the creek bed wet. Last Spring, the creek was flowing above the spring and I am hoping we get enough rain and snow melt to fill it again this year.

I also found some lichen growing on an old rotting tree stump:

And on a small tree trunk.
The boys and I read their notebooking pages on lichen and moss that they created during our Botany study 3 years ago. We recalled that lichen is a symbiotic relationship between algae and fungus. The fungus forms the body and the algae makes the food by photosynthesis.
We also recalled that lichen growth is an indicator of good air quality. I scanned their notebooking pages (since that was way before I started blogging!).
(I was still writing Dylan's narrations at the time, and I am so glad I did! It is fun to see how much he was able to recall when he did not have to write it.)
(Nathan glued 2 samples of lichen into his book.)
It was fun to look over their work and remember what we learned (that has been my favorite Apologia Elementary course so far!).
Here are Jordan (age 14) and Nathan's (age 11) notebooking page from our journal time this challenge:
After our reading and journaling, the kids went outside to see if they could find any moss or lichen in our yard here in town. They found moss growing on the West side of the stone ledge that borders the front yard.

I'm really hoping it will warm up soon, so we can do our Spring Tree study - our crab apple tree does not have any signs of spring yet!

Delightful Links: 

Life in a Tiny Ecosystem  ~ Explore life under an old rotting log