Nature Study: Our One Year Pond Study Week 9: Spring Tree Study

Our Heron
Our Heron

Welcome to week 9 of our one year pond study.  For the rest of the posts in this series please see here.

This week I am determined to post about all the activities we did around our tree study.  It was touch and go for a while, because in our enthusiasm we have been to the pond twice this week, once for the tree study and the second time we drove past and saw our heron.  Now our heron has been with us for years but each time we visit the pond for our nature study it has been conspicuous only by its absence!  So when we caught a glimpse of him, we raced home, grabbed the camera and snapped away.  This was in the evening time as the sun was gradually going down so the lighting was just wonderful.  I think this pond study has given me a hobby, because I LOVE taking photos of nature!  The first set of photos will be our night-time visit and the second set our tree study.  Enjoy!

We journeyed closer for a better look
Isn’t he gorgeous?
He must have spotted us for he flew off a few meters away...
He must have spotted us for he flew off a few meters away…
...to land on a nearby rock
…to land on a nearby rock
This time landing on the 'No Fishing' sign situated near to our tree
Then on the ‘No Fishing’ sign situated near to our tree
Where he proceeded to, yes you guessed it, fish!
Where he proceeded to, yes you guessed it, fish!
Giving himself a good shake, whilst swallowing the fish.  We could see the lump in his throat as he was swallowing it!
Giving himself a good shake, whilst swallowing the fish. We could see the lump in his throat as he was swallowing it!
Whilst we were their we snapped some Canada geese
Whilst we were their we snapped some Canada geese
Having a little snooze
Having a little snooze
A moor hen amongst the rushes
A moor hen amongst the rushes
One last picture, before the sun went down.
One last picture, before the sun went down.

For our tree study my aims this week were simple and all to do with the Lichen:

  • Read about the Ash tree
  • Learn about the different types of Lichen
  • Take some home with us and look at it under a magnifying glass
  • Learn about the implication of the presence of Lichen on a tree with regards to the surrounding air pollution
  • Attempt to draw a branch with Lichen
  • Complete our note booking page for April using the dried Lichen

First we read about the Ash tree using this book:

A really good book
A really good book

Then we visited our pond for some pictures and to gather the bits and pieces we needed to do our activities at home:

There it is, our Ash tree in all it's glory
There it is, our Ash tree in all it’s glory
Here you can see the purple flowers which come out before the leaves
Here you can see the purple flowers which come out before the leaves
And a close up.  The flowers have no petals, but will form into bunches of winged fruits, which are green at first and then turn brown
And a close up. The flowers have no petals, but will form into bunches of winged fruits, which are green at first and then turn brown
The trunk showing the Lichen
The trunk showing the Lichen
And close up
And close up

We collected a small branch with a good amount of Lichen on it and went home.  On returning I had the children learn a bit more about the different types of lichen:

This was I simple but useful page of information
This was a simple but useful page of information

We learn that the type of Lichen present indicates the level of air pollution.  Our branch contained three different types of Lichen, indicating that air pollution was very low.  We studied the Lichen under a magnifying glass:

A different part of the branch
A different part of the branch
And a close up
And a close up

Isn’t nature just magnificent?

Our lictures of the branch with the Lichen on.  We used these pictures to create the note booking page for this month
Our pictures of the branch with the Lichen on. We used these pictures to create the note booking page for this month

We decided to make our journal page for April all about the ecosystem.  We made the tree out of our drawings and stuck dried on Lichen on the truck.  The rest was drawn or sketched and we added notes to remind us of the components of an ecosystem:

April Journal Page
April Journal Page

So enjoying the pond study!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall    Science Sunday

26 comments

    1. I had always thought it quite an ugly bird, until I actually looked. Now I think it is possibly one of the most beautiful birds I ever saw. Nature is teaching me more about myself than itself, and it’s making me open my eyes, sit up and take notice.

    1. I think you might be right. Because it absorbs the air around it, it is very sensitive to pollution so it’s presence indicates clean air. We didn’t go into anymore detail than that and didn’t look at it’s effect or lack there of, on the plant. We’ve got another 43 weeks to go. I’ve got to pace myself!!

  1. Your heron is beautiful!! I wish our pond had one of those. (Have you been watching the Herons on Cornell’s nest cam at all? They’re sitting on 5 eggs.) Love your picture of the tree’s flower. So pretty. As is your close-up of the lichen. Thank you for linking up with Nature in the Neighborhood!

  2. Your heron and tree photos are so gorgeous. I’ve been inspired by photographing nature, too. I find trees a particular challenge though! You did a great job with the blossom shot. Did you use fancy settings? I’ve asked a friend to show me how my camera works, I’m guilty of ignoring everything but the point-and-shoot button!

  3. I love the no fishing sign and the Heron taking no notice of course! Wonderful photos and so much for the children to learn from your pond. I have learned something myself about lichen and air pollution! Thank you for sharing on Country Kids.

  4. Trees are so gorgeous aren’t they. I liked them too much as a child and always climbing them – and that’s how I broke my arm!
    Gorgeous photos – especially the close ups.
    Thanks for sharing on the Spring Carnival.

  5. It’s such a joy to follow your pond study. One of my favorite things about homeschool is being able to vist some of our favorite nature spots any time of year.

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