Friday, June 3, 2011

Searching for flowers

We finally had some beautiful Spring weather – not crazy hot and humid and not torrential rain.  We decided to give up on book work for a day (or two) and head outside.   We went back to our local county park for another try at the Wildflower Trail, where Vicki enjoyed playing with a large leaf from a marsh marigold and checking out the xylem ….


while Georgie used my camera to take lots of interesting pictures of rocks, moss and ferns (this picture just happens to have all three).


What we didn’t see, despite extensive searching, were flowers.


The kids were really disappointed so we decided to take a trip over to Frelinghuysen Arboretum where we saw lots and lots of flowers…





a cross-section of a tree with information on how to read tree rings and numbers to coordinate the rings with specific years….





an astrolabe sundial that the kids really found fascinating….


a fountain pool that the kids found it impossible to resist splashing in.


We left the formal gardens for a walk in the woods and saw lots of Chinese Dogwoods….


the kids flopped right down in a nice shady patch of soft grass (our yard at the moment is a mixture of dirt, rocks and weeds)….


and we scared a groundhog into running across a meadow.


There was a fern path that had informative signs telling about how ferns have been around for over 300 million years.  A great tie-in to our prehistory study.

IMG_6450  We finished up with a visit to the Carriage House inside the Education Center.


The Arboretum ended up being a lot more fun than I expected.  I have only been there once in the last 14 years (we went for Steph’s 3rd birthday) and that was in the middle of Winter for a Gingerbread House exhibit.  I can see this being a very useful resource when we next study plants.  They offer “backpacks” that you can rent which contain activities for kids to enhance the arboretum experience.    We will definitely give them a try next time we visit.

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