Friday, March 13, 2015

March is for Botany (because it's garden time!)

It's been pretty slow around here the past few months. Steady, sluggish plodding through the days. And I'm ok with that, really. Winter is for reading, writing, sewing, knitting (the oldest is knitting now!) . . . all of those quiet, indoor activities and projects.

But spring is coming, folks . . .

For real. I saw bluebirds last week. We only catch a glimpse of them in our yard for a few days each year, and right on their tails, the robins arrived. We've got hundreds of robins in our yard. I promise you, I don't put out a speck of bird food, so this is just their normal visiting pattern.

Our first mud pie of the year!

With the birds comes a little taste of spring. The seven-year-old brought me our first clover flower from the yard. Icy mornings give way to muddy days (along with lots of mud-splattered laundry). Puffy coats go back in the closet to make room for rain jackets and rubber boots. My joints ache less. We all feel a little pep in our steps. Yes, indeed, spring is here.

Every year, March is our gardening month. We assess our seed stash, prep the raised beds, and plan our little plots. 

My mom picked up a ton of flower seeds for us
on clearance at the dollar store last year!

When my kids were younger, biology involved mostly nature study. Exploring. Identifying. Digging in the dirt. Asking questions and looking up answers. It was more than enough. But now we're stretching and branching out. It only makes sense that we tie in our botany lessons with the time of year when we're already talking about plants, flowers, and how and where things grow. So March has naturally become our official month for botany. It might be April of May for some of you, or even an entirely different time of the year for our Southern Hemisphere friends.

This year we're adding in notebooking pages and diagrams and reading more books on the subject. We don't have a nice microscope (yet), but we have loupes and plain old magnifying glasses, and I can't wait for the flowers to arrive (come on, azaleas!) so we can take a closer look inside and identify the parts.

It's a natural extension of activities we were already doing. So far it's been a pretty painless transition this way, and I'm looking forward to finding ways to naturally incorporate more rigorous studies into our seasonal rhythms.

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