We’ve been blackberry picking and flower gathering today (Tammy was right about there being more adventures this summer). We took a ziplock bag to put the flowers in to keep them moist till we could put them in vases. We didn’t dig up any plants, just took some stems so we could see the flowers and leaves at home for identification.
I’ve been able to find a lot of the flowers in our wildflower and edible plants books, but some that we’ve seen just aren’t in there. So I came online and found these wildlife info sites specific to Florida. Great for anyone, but wonderful for fellow homeschoolers interested in local wildlife.
http://www.plantatlas.usf.edu/ I was having trouble identifying a plant so I e-mailed them and they told me what it was (Phlox pilosa). There is already a lot of info on their site, but they seem very happy to give additional help if needed.
http://www.fnai.org/index.cfm Check out the online field guides for plants and animals.
http://plants.usda.gov/index.html Here is a countrywide site.
We have the flowers in vases and the children have been drawing beautiful pictures of each flower, while I’ve been looking them up and reading to them about each flower.
We also saw an Eastern Swallowtail butterfly and another one with big eyes on the wings which I think was a Common Buckeye. We saw little tent caterpillers, and a Yucca Moth, which is snowy white.
When we move out to the country house I am going to put in a wildflower garden. I LOVE them. And a lot of them bloom year round, they don’t require a ton of water and butterflies are attracted to them. There are several state sponsered programs to encourage people to plant wildflowers in their gardens, which you’ll see if you follow the links.
I hope that these treks out into nature will instill an awe for the Creator in my children which He surely deserves. It has been a fun day.
Now, it’s back to painting bedrooms. . .