Our temperatures have been frigid, only high in the teens, so it was a very short outing for us this morning. Our focus was on our towering maple in our yard. Here is a picture of it in the fall in all its majesty.
I showed this picture to the boys before we went out into the yard so they had a fresh image in their head for comparison. Here is what it looked like this morning.
We examined the structure of the tree, comparing it to a weeping willow across the street. The boys had never noticed the difference before. We also talked about what may be living in the tree and what animals are using it this time of year.
We found ourselves talking about chipmunks and hibernation, squirrels, and birds that we often see using our tree. We also tap this tree in the spring as it is a sugar maple. The boys are really looking forward to that season. We are waiting for the cold nights and warm days, before that fun begins.
What was difficult for the boys to grasp is a bud. What is a bud, how can you identify a bud, and why do trees have buds. We were unable to see the buds from the ground, but from the second story of our house the buds are clearly there. I am planning on doing a little more with this next month, with the forcing activity. We have a forsythia bush that will be perfect. Then they will be able to first had understand buds, and budding.
When we returned inside the boys tried their hand at the notebook page. It was there first attempt at drawing a tree. Both agreed that the bark has a grey-brown color. They also noticed some dried up brown leaves still attached to some branches.
Here are our final drawings. Not bad for a first try. Both boys includes the brown leaves, upward branches, and grey-brown bark.