Thursday, February 3, 2011

Winter Challenge #4 Tree Silhouettes

Outdoor Hour button

I usually blog on Monday, but this week we went up to our cottage in the Adirondacks for a few days.  It is a bit of a media fast staying up there.  I love it.  There is nothing like being away from the usual distractions to bring family close to one another.  When we packed up I was sure to bring the copy of our "Handbook" to complete this week's nature study.

A lake is a great place for observing tree silhouettes.  It is so rare to be able to get far enough away from a tree to appreciate it true shape.  We have several favorite trees that we enjoy during the summer, so I knew that the winter view would allow us much opportunity to complete this week's challenge.

First we bundled up and hiked out onto the ice.  It was a special treat to have Dada with us this week.   The first tree we observed is right in front of our cottage.
This maple, dusted with snow, reaches it branches out and up to the sky.  I asked the boys to use their shadow on the ice to make the branch shape with their arms.

This really got them thinking about the shapes of what they were seeing.

The next tree we noticed is one of my favorites.  It is a pine that leans out over the lake.  The boys recognized that its branches are more out than up.  They also noted that the tree has needles.  We talked about the word "conifer."

On a hill we spotted some white birch trees.  

We also found these tracks.  "I" immediately said it had to be a cat or fox.  We recently read the book How to be a Nature Detective.  

How to Be a Nature Detective (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science)
This book does an excellent job of teaching how to identify tracks in the snow.  I was so pleased that we can apply our knowledge out in the field!  

The last tree we looked at was right in our yard.  It is a flowering crab apple, but has a very interesting shape.  It has been pruned to be almost bonsai-like.  

Back inside I had each of the boys select a tree to sketch.  Both chose to draw the pine tree.  

We also looked at some of the twigs that we collected from the walk.  
Here are out final drawings.  


Hollinger Family said...

Thanks for sharing; what a beautiful place to do your study! Doesn't the snow make it seem magestic? Perfect for a tree study!

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

What a wonderful winter world to enjoy! I love that you picked trees that you know from another season so you can compare. Great job with the tree shadows too...arms are limbs too.

Thank you so much for sharing your link and your winter getaway spot. I would love to have a little place to hideaway. :)

Heather said...

Lovely snowy silhoettes.

Our Side of the Mountain said...

Wow! Nice area with the mountains in the background! Great space to explore with your littles!


Monica said...

What a beautiful place to do a study! Your kids are adorable!