17 December 2008

Nature Study



I need to get some sort of snow pants because I'm a wuss about being cold, but Monkey needs to be able to go outside in the winter half of the year! Today we stayed out after shoveling the walks & looked around the backyard at the cool new look the snow gave it.



We have a colony of rabits that live under our deck. We keep talking about fixing up the lattice so it's not so cozy, but we haven't done it yet so there are lots of rabbit tracks. I showed him how bunnies leave some big prints and some little prints because they have both little feet & big feet.



After that he got to work following (and obliterating) the trail.



The bunny tracks lead us to a beautiful evergreen tree on the edge of our yard.



I've been meaning to have a good look at it and figure out what kind of tree it is. My guess is blue spruce, but I took some pictures to try to confirm that guess.



The bark is pretty cool; not too much snow stuck to it down low. There was a little stuck to it up higher where the branches haven't been cut away by the neighbor. But the snow wasn't really the sticking kind. It's loose and powdery and great for tossing up to watch it sparkle in the sun. Monkey particularly loved it when I did that and it floated over him, silly boy.



After I was done looking at the branches & bark I noticed a pine cone so I scooped it up to show Monkey. He thought it was pretty cool. I told him the pine cone is how these trees make seeds and that if the seeds are planted it will grow a new tree. Monkey then threw the pine cone on the ground and pounded it out of sight under the snow with his shovel.



After that he returned to his shoveling, this time experimenting with rubbing his shovel over the snow.



Amazingly, although the photo looks like an evening picture with the dim light and the long shadows, it was just before noon when these pictures were taken. We are nearly to the solstice and it shows in the length of our days! Happily, we'll start to have longer days again next week. I don't know that I'd do very well too much further north than we already are!

Oh, and it turns out it's a white spruce. I used this website and Peterson First Guide to Trees to figure it out.

4 comments:

Karies place said...

Sounds like he had a fun time.

Ritsumei said...

Yep, we did have a good time. I need to get some more snow gear because neither of us was really ready to come in when I got cold.

Anne Chovies said...

I didn't think that was a blue spruce. Grandma's old house had two big ones growing in the front yard until an east wind blew them down. I spent a lot of time mowing around them, which afforded me plenty of time to see them up close and personal.

Ritsumei said...

I wasn't sure either, they didn't seem to be terribly blue. But I did feel a bit vindicated that they were at least in the spruce family!

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