Cattails Part 2 :: Winter Nature Study

While on a mini-getaway to the valley last week, the kiddos and I did a little letterboxing at the Oregon Garden. While we were not successful finding the letterbox, we did come across accessible cattails. We collected a few to investigate more intimately.We pulled off the seeds to observe closely and recalled how Native Americans would use the fluff in their cradle boards as well as a variety of medicinal and nutritional uses.

After reading about an experiment another family [Delightful Learning] had tried with a cattail, my kiddos were anxious to give it a go as well. We thereby brought one home to use as a torch!

Admin Note :: This is a follow-up post to an earlier Nature Study lesson on Cattails. Click here for Cattails Part 1.

Cattails Part 1:: Winter Nature Study

It is my sincere hope to do a much better job in planning and following through this year. Particularly in the areas of composer & artist study, nature study, and believe it or not, science. I tend to let these topics drop when we get busy and this frustrates me.

In an effort to combat this tendency, I purchased Barbara McCoy’s Winter Nature Study with Art & Music Appreciation. Upon opening the ebook, I was immediately impressed. It is so complete and everything is laid out so concisely … I couldn’t wait to begin!
Friday morning, we went down to the park along the river to do the first winter nature study which focused on cattails – the only location I could think of with cattails accessible. Prior to departing, I read the suggested pages aloud from Handbook of Nature Study and printed off the accompanying notebook pages. Upon our arrival, we were disappointed to see that we were not in fact able to reach the cattails and would thereby not be able to investigate it more closely (i.e. pulling it apart and looking inside). Therefore, we made due with our observations from a far.
I had a difficult time getting Buddy to focus. He was much more interested in poking at the ice along the perimeter of the pond. He did manage to do a quick sketch but I know he can do better. Sweetie opted to do her sketch in her nature book rather than on the notebooking page that Barb developed. I did the same. Shortly before we departed, Sweetie started to express her frustration in her drawing abilities. She is a perfectionist – like me – something we both need to work on overcoming.
Her frustration and Buddy’s distraction proved to me yet again that we need to bring drawing and nature study back into our regular activities. We all need more practice.