Wednesday, April 22, 2009

100 Species Challenge -- Species #45

Specimen #45 Wild Ginger

I am slowly getting to 100 species. I photographed this today at a local park, bottom ground, rich and moist woodland. The flower has not opened, and I'll hopefully get a photo of it in bloom. It is a very interesting flower. I like that you can see the hairs on it in the photograph.

I was inspired right before Holy Week to have my children dissect old flowers from a florist. Why are kids in 7th grade doing the dissection and not younger kids? There have been a couple times when I talked to the kids about looking for a particular part of a flower to help ID it, but they didn't know their flower parts. Until we could dissect, it would be difficult. Just yesterday my youngest child drew a flower, a still life, and I could tell that her nature study and dissection have heightened her perception when looking at her older drawings.

The florist had no problems saving old flowers for us. I wasn't charged a fee, and our field guides had all we needed to know. The multisensory experience of a dissection helps us internalize what we learn more than reading can.

My younger son has also paid attention to our nature study. As his art class creates paintings with birch trees, he's talked about decisions -- details from grey and paper birches. My family has all benefitted from nature study and it gives us a common interest for discussion. Once we start, we want to learn more.

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