I began to stress out last week about our nature journals as I realized how many blooms we were missing. By the time we were ready for another journaling session, the violets were dying and we missed the buds on the silver maple. How can my journal be complete without the grape hyacinth?!
Remembering my promise not to overdo this and burn out, I took a deep breath and let go of my control issues. I bet the daffodils will bloom again next year. We are in this for the long haul, I hope.
Ryan spotted some purple flowers in the smack middle of our yard, all by itself last week, so we set out to learn its name. I didn’t recognize it, and being all alone, I didn’t guess it was a weed. So I googled Oklahoma wildflowers and as far as I figure, it is some type of blueheart.
Close up of the flowers, 5 lobes, light purple
My best attempt at photographing the stem and leaves. They were about 6-8 inches with a couple of pointy leaves every half-inch or so along the main stem.
I had the boys do their journaling right after lunch while I put the mighty mights to naptime. I ended up potting the flower in a small container and bringing it inside to draw. After about 30 minutes I was astonished to see it perk up. Of course, now that I am writing this, a cat has already destroyed one of the flowers. Hope they aren’t poisonous.
It only took them about 10 minutes to finish their drawing. I am hoping to journal before lunch in the future so that I can sit with them and help them notice the small details. I don’t want to overdo the instruction though. My hope is that they will naturally develop their powers of observation slowly as their drawing abilities are refined.
Alex did a better job of choosing the right colors this time. He had used blue to draw the buds on the Redbud tree last time. I told him to test out pencils on a scrap piece of paper before committing to one in his journal. You would think a trick like that is obvious, but I guess you just have to spell it out sometimes.
Ryan insisted on drawing a top view of the entire pot. You can’t see it very well since he covered it with brown and black, but he actually did a really great job on the stem.
And finally, I drew mine once the little ones were napping. It took me about 30 minutes. I still haven’t been brave enough to cart our supplies outdoors. I think this potting idea is a good alternative. If you’ve been doing any kind of nature walks or journals on your blogs, please put a link in the comments. It really helps me to identify some of the species in my own yard.
4/25/14 – Edited to add that one of my friends thought this looked like Sweet Pea. The flowers do seem to resemble a type of pea more than the Bluehearts that I was able to see, but the plant was not a vine at all, only a single stem. I have found more right around the same place in the yard. I’ll observe and see how they grow for a longer period of time.