Sunday, April 29, 2012

Spring Tree Study

We've been keeping an eye on the trees planted in front of the shopping plaza outside of our apartment since we've been here in France.   It's changed a lot since we arrived in January....
End of January
mid-late February



Our nature studies this month focused on this tree, loosely following the suggestions from the Handbook of Nature Study Spring Tree suggestions.   We talked about how the tree had changed since winter, and what we thought might still happen in the month to come (Michelle says 'I think it will still get more leaves.")  She was also inspired to write a poem about it, similar to the one we wrote for our Pansy study:

My Tree in All the Seasons
Cold, Cold
Snowy, Snowy
Little, Little, Little Buds
Big, big purple blossoms
Teeny, teeny tiny leaves
Green, green leaves getting bigger all the time
(I guess we'll come back and write the verses for the summer and fall later. =)

Nature Journaling "event" - the little ones don't keep journals yet, but they do like joining in with us.  James' leaf drawing wasn't half bad, either.
We also got Papa to snatch a leaf off it for us so we could take a closer look at that and also see if we could identify the tree.
My sketch of our leaf

These are young trees (the shopping area was just renovated last year and new trees planted), and it is till early in the spring so the leaves are quite small.
We read the book Crinkleroot's Guide to Knowing the Trees, and decided that the leaf shape most closely resembled a maple.  After a little more research in a local field guide and online, we think that our tree may be a Sycamore Maple.  I'm not great at identifying things, so we'll have to wait and see if we are right, but it seemed to be a good fit based on the leaf shape and the information given in our local field guide.  According to that, these trees are very common in our part of France and often planted along the streets and in parks.   So, we shall see!  According to this article, it should flower in we'll see if we are right, or if we need to refine our hypothesis. =)

So, that was our nature fun for this month!  The "beau temps" seem to have returned to this part of the world, so hopefully we'll have more opportunities to get out an explore in the month to come.


  1. Lovely tree study right outside your window...perfect way to take advantage of a subject you have in your near-by habitat.

    This is a great example of how to build a tree study and learn to identify a tree.

    Thank you so much for sharing your entry with the OHC Blog Carnival.

  2. I'm so thrilled to find a CM blog for younger kids! What a great tree study :)

  3. Thanks ladies. And welcome, Lacey. =) I don't get to post as often as I like, but do check back now and again to see what we're up too. Hoping to post something about what I do with my preschooler soon...

  4. I loved seeing the tree in the different months: how fun!