Observing Trees and asking questions

I love stealing ideas from other people, so when I saw a friend post pictures of a nature hike yesterday, I immediately decided I was going there next! Which we did today 😊 so thank you friend!!

The plan for the day was to go to Dunegart Park and hike over to The Little Creek Nature Area owned by the Ferg/Flo school district.

When we pulled up to Dunegart Park, Eli and Andre immediately exclaimed that this was Jack and Annie’ Magic Tree House (from the book series).  
How cool is that! The playground matches our theme for the nature walk!

TREES 🌳🌲🌳🌲🌳🌲

We entered the WILD from behind the park.


As we entered the woods I encouraged the kids to look at the trees and show me interesting things!

Prior to this hike, I found an amazing PDF online about identifying trees by their bark and buds. The kids and I just read the first few pages/slides.

https://www.extension.iastate.edu/forestry/tri_state/tristate_2015/Talks/PDFs/hayektree%20ID.pdf

We learned that bark is divided into categories – so today, we just observed, took notice, and asked questions.

The sign at the beginning of the trail is bittersweet πŸ˜•

Pictures of different kinds of bark:




  


Seriously folks! I have never noticed such a variety in bark!

I think noticing the different characteristics is the first step in learning how to identify trees (or plants and animals!).  That’s why I wanted to take a hike and just observe and wonder!

As we hiked and observed, Eddie and Simone took turns writing our tree questions in a small notebook.

Please note that I don’t have the answers in this post… just questions!

Questions #1:

How can a tree grow vertical?

Question #2

How can a tree keep living despite having a hole in the trunk?


Question #3:

What are these knobby things on trees?

Question #4

How/why does bark fall off?

(See that piece of bark hanging from a vine on the right?)

 Observation #1

Insides of trees look different

(some look like telephone poles)


Observation #2

Woodpecker holes

Decaying Tree Stump (again woodpecker holes)

Something I knew thanks to the previous guided tours!!

I am inside a sycamore tree root system!

 

Sycamores like to have their roots near water and actually enjoy the erosion that exposes their roots! (Which is why I had to jump a creek to get the picture!)

* A friend on Facebook commented that this picture reminded her of the No Doubt song- 🎢I’m walking into spiderwebs / So leave a message / And I’ll call you back 🎢

(I ❀️ the analogy πŸ•Έ)


I knew this was a sycamore because sycamores don’t regrow their bark after it has fallen off. Sometimes they are called ghosts of the forest because their tops are so white and almost glow in the moonlight!

This picture isn’t the sycamore tree I’m under, but you can see the barkless top!

The kids favorite part of the hike was swinging on a vine!

 
… So our adventure continued into the nature reserve…

…But I’ll post about that tomorrow 😊

Wild Family Facebook page 🌸

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