Saturday, April 18, 2015

{Nature} :: A Hodge-Podge of Springtime Observations

It has been a while since I have done a post.
It has been a while since I have been in the mindset to do a post.

About a month ago I came down with something that put me out of commission for awhile, and I just couldn't shake it. 
Lessons went slowly. 
I did try to get outside for some fresh air, and one day I just lay in the sunshine on a blanket watching the kids and taking pictures of nature. 
And as I got to feeling better, we continued to spend some good time out-of-doors.
Interestingly enough, the more time I spend seeing things in nature, the more overwhelmed I become because there are so many things I realize I don't know! 
Thankfully, education is for a lifetime, and hopefully during this time I can come to know the plants and animals around where we live at least.

"We are all meant to be naturalists, each in his own degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of the marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things."


Here is a sampling of what we have been observing around our neck of the woods.

At the end of March, we saw our first Texas bluebonnet bud ... in the creek bed.

Within a few days, they were all in full bloom.

Texas bluebonnet, Lupinus texensis

Our redbud tree started losing its blossoms with the emergence of new branch extensions and leaves. 

At the beginning of April Royal spied a wheel bug nymph, which is a type of assassin bug. 
Apparently they hatch this time of year and also happen to be akin to ladybugs in that they are very good for gardens.

Royal caught a small toad, which made for a good discussion (using Comstock's Handbook of Nature Study) of the differences between frogs and toads. 
The two undeniable identifying factors that led us to deciding this was a toad were the warty bumps on its back and also when we applied gentle pressure to the eyes, 
they went down into the toad's head.

On one of our nature outings we also encountered a long-jawed orb weaver.

We finally identified the nest that is on the porch of Nana & Grandpa's house as well.

It's from an Eastern Phoebe.

A cute little snail

And, of, flowers, flowers!

Stork's bill blooming
Stork's bill, Erodium cicutarium

Common field speedwell

False garlic, Nothoscordum bivalve

Winter vetch, Vicia dasycarpa
Ten-petal anemone, Anemone heterophylla

Drummond wild onion, Allium drummondii
some sort of mustard?
some sort of mint?

I should go back and take a closer look at the type of Fleabane this is:

And I honestly cannot figure out what this is, but it is so lovely!


“If mothers could learn to do for themselves what they do for their children when these are overdone, we should have happier households. 
Let the mother go out to play!” 


  1. I have recently found your blog and am starting out with Charlotte Mason and and nature study too can feel overwhelming when I think about how little I know! Your pictures are beautiful!

    1. Lucy, so glad you stopped by and left a comment :-)
      I hope you find the Mason education to be as wonderful and fulfilling as so many others have!!!

  2. Is the orange one at the end scarlet pimpernel? It's one of our favorites here.

    1. Oh, Celeste, I think you are right!!! Thanks so much for helping me identify this :-)