Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Winter Walk--Photo Intense

After Pooh's Art class today we decided to go on a winter walk. The weather here lately has been very wet, so I should have been prepared for how wet the woods were. There was mud everywhere and oodles of puddles. Right up the boys' alley. Before we got to the creek area, I managed to squeeze in a bit of tree study. I was commenting on the different bark we saw and on the fungi that was growing everywhere. Funny how the fungi seems to flourish during this cooler weather.

Here are some photos of some of the different bark we saw:

The trees of love.

This is Tigger with the piece of bark he found on the ground. I believe it is from the American Beech tree that I fell in love with. The Beech tree has great color for winter contrasts and would, I believe, make great black and white photos. It has a very light gray bark with some darker spots on it. Then the faded yellow leaves were still on the tree. If you look in the background of this picture you can see the only tree back there with leaves is the Beech tree.

Left: Anyone know what that one is? Very interesting bark. When you push it, it has a very spongy quality to it.

Right: The park labeled it as a Virginia Pine. (although I have my doubts from looking at the tree guide book I have.)

Here are some photos of the fungi we saw growing on the bark:

This pine tree had two seemingly different fungi growing on it. One a lighter green that was growing in between the bark pieces and the other was a moss growing at the base of the tree.

Tigger with his stick on which we found bright orange colored fungi.

Another tree with the green fungi.

(Bet you can tell which one of the boys is the 'ham'! LOL)

Here are the photos of their favorite part-water play:

Right now, the thing they like to do best in the streams is to reroute the water. They clear out paths of debris (sticks and leaves) and watch the new route the water takes. They could play at this for hours if I let them. Especially Pooh. He's always loved the water.

Some other cool things we noted about the woods today, were the wind and the sounds. The wind was gearing up to be enough for weather warnings so the tops of the trees were really swaying. It made the trees have these eerie creaking noises. You could even hear one tree hit into another. I told the boys the trees were kissing. I got big smiles and "Eeeeewwwwww" s. LOL One of the pictures above was of two completely different kinds of trees growing right next to each other, as they tend to do. I told the boys that those trees were in love. :D

One part of the woods is very dense with trees. Somehow, despite all of them pretty much looking dead, it is very dark in that area. Tigger said it was 'spooky'. I started telling a little story about "A sad, lonely bear entering the deep, dark forest with it's muddly, puddly creek" a la Bear Snores On. I love those books. He even tried coming up with his own little description to fit the story. So cute! (no, i don't remember what it was. i have to learn to lock it away in a memory somewhere.)

The trail is about a one hour walk. I like the way it winds and the different kinds of areas it encompasses. It keep us eager to see around the next corner.


live4evermom said...

Love that spongy, pokey looking tree. That is how my little one would describe it. Looks like you all had a ton of fun. My favorite thing is listening to the wind moving all the leaves. It just sounds so peaceful.

Julee said...

I LOVED this post. Now that my daughter is homeschooling again, we are trying a Charlotte Masonish approach. I have been trying to go on nature walks, but we live in the city so I'm finding it a bit difficult. I'm going to have to make a point to stop into the nature center and the large park across the street.

I like how you use your guidebook to find out the trees, it helps me to see it in action.

Thanks for the post, it looks like you guys had a good, fun time!

Rosina said...

Great photos of your findings :) We have a tree that is sort of similar with a spongy trunk like you described and it is called a Cork Tree. Maybe it's what you observed :)

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Look at all those different colors of tree trunks! Great entry....tree bark is a great thing to study in the winter since all the leaves are gone from most trees.

Thanks for the ideas and the link to your entry.
Barb-Harmony Art Mom