Inspired by the Handbook of Nature Study blog, we observe and study nature by following their weekly challenges. For the apple tree, we went a few streets over in our neighborhood to look more closely at a crab apple tree. I go by it every morning on my walks.
Then, we went to an apple orchard. We spent about 15 minutes observing the tree, its bark, leaves, dried up flowers, baby apples, areas where large branches had been cut, and overall looks. We noticed the bored holes, which could be the work of either a beetle or a wookpecker.
We also observed the surroundings: a bee gathering pollen from the carpet of yellow flowers under the apple tree, a small “area rug” of lavender flowers, the taller trees from across the street (not apple trees), the younger apple trees in another part of the orchard, the sky. We also made note of the weather: it was sunny, hot, and windy.
On the way back home, we ran an errand at the bank. My daughter asked me to get some hot chocolate, which our bank offers to their clients for free. Next to the hot chocolate machine was a large bowl of red apples. I got them an apple instead of hot chocolate. I could not have planned this better.
In the car, we listened to Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 – my daughter’s request. It has long been a favorite of mine and I play it often. She calls it “that other music, not Handel.”
When we got home, I glued the apple tree topper from the HNS April newsletter on a blank piece of paper, made some notes and had my daughter draw the apple tree. Such a peaceful homeschooling day. Nature soothes.