Much of last week was devoted to learning about botany, ecology, and biology. Autumn makes it difficult to ignore the fantastic show of leaves and the cycle of life. So we found ourselves at the University of Alabama Arboretum for two afternoons, identifying trees and nature journaling about gourds and various interesting finding.
If you wonder how I manage to balance the age difference between the little folks, the truth is that I bring along crayons, colored pencils, paper, and, yes, a tricycle. It works most days.
This print of various leaf forms served us well on Thursday- the girls colored the leaves using Max's tree guide. We did our best to color the "fall colors" of each leaf, which ranged from orange to bright red to yellow and back to green.
Max pontificated about chlorophyll and how leaf color is determined in the fall. Then we switched gears and wandered around for a bit. Finally, the ladies found their coloring twitch needed easing, so they colored a printout of the booklet below, which shows the life cycle of a pumpkin.
While writing in his nature journal, seeking the sounds of the season, Max observed that no songbirds were chirping- the only noise was that of the wind rustling through the dying tree leaves. "All the birds have migrated, Mom!" he exclaimed. Micah tried to see the good side of our birdless environment, asserting that "all the birds are at the beach and they are eating and playing". Milla assented with a nod.
For at least an hour, everyone was busy observing, chatting, giggling, learning, and admiring the changing world around us. As they studied, I jotted down notes for a poem, the little bones of what looks like a skeleton, and promised myself that I would steal time to finish it... later. Always later.