Tuesday, April 15, 2008

April 15

One of our trees has sprung in the backyard. Our little pluot tree. (Not big pluots, but little tiny ones.)
The day before yesterday I noticed about five blossoms on the tree, and then yesterday fwoof! there it went.
Knowing this led me to wanting to further investigate our neighborhood, and to look for blossoms and springtime.
I thought if we went for a neighborhood walk, it might be nice to be able to talk intelligently about the process of trees in bloom, and pollination.
Er - which meant that I had some studying to do. :)
It is dang hard trying to find interesting sites about pollination, stamens, bees, trees, and such to share with children.
Not one of them had "try this" ideas, or ideas on what you could look for, or things to investigate.
So I started thinking.... what books do we have, and do we have any Magic School Bus videos that would be helpful?
I managed to find three books - How a Seed Grows, Eyewitness Explorers - Flowers, and the best one of all - My First Book of Questions and Answers: Things That Grow. (which I cannot find online anywhere.)
Ordinarily I don't particularly like q&a books, too trivial-pursuitish and not enough real info, nor do I usually like "my first" books - they often leave us disappointed with their lack of detail and real information.
But not this one. It's fabulous. Well - for us. Beginners that we are.
After reading about spores and runners, bees and bats, self pollinating plants such as trees, photosynthesis and chlorophyll, and plants that explode (such as poppies), and tree rings we were quite thrilled (well, Mama was) to head outside to check out all of these things that our own backyard held for us.
Spores on the fern in the livingroom.
Runners on the strawberries. (Which will be easier to see and understand in a few weeks when new runners are made.)
Checking out the poppy plants in the backyard - no flower pods, yet.
Poisonous hairs on the nettle in the front.
Thorns on roses, of course.
I snipped of a bit of a branch of blossoms so that we could check out the pollen.
See this part? These green leaf looking parts outside of the flower? Those are called sepals. Then petals. Inside the petals, the long white things? Those are stamens. At the end of the stamen is the anther - that's where the pollen is.
We looked at the stamen, anther and pollen under the microscope.
The stamen looks fibrous - I guessed that it was like blood vessels, and where pollen was delivered through and formed.
Rings on the tree trunks.

Pippi Longstocking.

Bath. Or Baff, as the case is.

Dinosaur Discovery channel videos - Alpha's Egg.

A snuggle with some books.
Watch Me Grow: Frog, Magic School Bus Blows Its Top, and What Makes a Magnet?

Trev asked the question "Does water put out lava?" and then "Does lava put out water?" Which led me to think while I am quite familiar with heat vaporizing water very quickly, he is not. So I think a little experiment of measured water in a pot, high heat, and another measure x amount of minutes later is in order. He knows about the three stages of water (vapor, ice, and liquid) but it might be interesting to measure how fast heat "puts out" water.

In our magnet book it talked about compasses, and how to make a floating one by magnetizing a needle then putting a bit of cork on both ends, and how it will point north. So we did. And it does.

After that it was the video of Magnet School Bus Blows Its Top.

Which wasn't quite enough, so we rewound the tape, and are currently watching MSB All Dried Up - which is a trip to the desert.

It's 6:03, and that's our day.
Oh - and eighty degrees yesterday - and a couple of hours ago it was like 35! And snowing.
We're inside today.
'Til tomorrow.

Hey!! This just in! :) Our next MSB episode after the desert is "Goes to Seed"! How's that for a happy coincidence??

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