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Tag: flowers

Over the summer we studied plants for our science program. I’ll summarize our whole study in two posts.

REAL Science Odyssey started us out with learning the parts of a flower. We learned about a flower’s pistil, stamens, ovules, sepals, and petals. Satori discovered the purpose of flowering plants and pollination. We purchased flowers with the ability to see these parts in detail.

Here’s the worksheet that Satori filled out – “Color the Flower”. We then watched several BrainPop and Discovery Education Streaming videos as well as books.

We now appreciate flowers so much more.

During our seed study we learned about the difference between dicots and monocots, and what cotyledons means. We found examples of each in our pantry. I didn’t take pictures of these lessons, but we studied various seeds such as dry beans, lentils, peanuts, rice, corn, and popcorn. We discussed the various ways seeds can travel and their purpose for wanting to travel away from the parent plant. With REAL Science Odyssey, we are not daunted by the big scientific words as you can see. We did not do all the included science lab activities and worksheets, I skipped some that Satori already knew.

The last part of the flower we studied was the stem and roots. We learned the difference between xylem tubes (transport water) and phloem (transport food). Of course we did the classic experiment involving using celery as a stem. We filled three clear glasses with water dyed with food coloring – two with red, one with blue.

We stuck a celery stalk in the red glass (and eventually stuck one in the blue glass as well).  A white carnation’s stem was split and stuck in both a red and blue glass.

The next morning we noticed the first hints of color in both the celery and flower. The celery in the blue water had its leaves turn green and we could also see the xylem inside the stem all blue.

Below is a picture of our white carnation dipped in both colors, taken after four complete days. Half of it was blue and half was red.

I’ll be posting our final plant study event soon!

Satori and I took a hike in our big backyard today – James Peak Wilderness area. I knew there’d be flowers in bloom, so we stocked up our sketch pads and some water and hiked in for about an hour. (If we kept going we’d be on the other side of the Great Divide.) We haven’t studied wildflowers yet, but when we do, I’m sure we’ll do it quite thoroughly. Mama’s already planning some of that out!

It was a little windy at times, and I didn’t bring a tripod, but I did snap shots of every flower we passed. Here are some that turned out okay.

Golden Banner (Thermopsis montana) were everywhere.

The Colorado State Flower – Rocky Mountain Columbine or Colorado Columbine (Aquilega coerulea).

These Shooting Stars (Dodecatheon pulchellum) thrived wherever the ground was muddy. Tiny little flowers, we almost missed them.

We found a boulder meadow, selected a nice flat rock and sketched flowers.

I swear she could’ve spent all day here!

In the meantime, Mama took her camera and walked along the meadow fringes.

More Columbines…

Time to head home! Mom was getting a little dizzy from constantly bending over to take all the flower photos.

Chiming Bells on our way out…

People RAVE about this art program, and so I’ve been preparing to start Artistic Pursuits with Satori. Artistic Pursuits is our neighbor in Arvada, CO, so we got our materials the day after we ordered! They feature a creative art curriculum from preschool to high school. It isn’t just copy what the teacher has in mind for you, I believe it will really bring her creativity out as we get into the program. Of course, the Preschool book was the one we cracked first – for ages 3-5. “The Way They SEE It” offers 32 projects, and is a great intro for preschoolers. Peppered within the book are “grown-up talk” to help the parents understand their child’s artistic development.

First activity was examining a bouquet of flowers by an artist. Then Satori and I went on a short hike around our property and picked out a bunch of wildflowers. I had no clue there were so many flowers around in August! The flowers are different than the orange and purple ones that were dominant in June, these were mostly yellow and white. Hummingbirds, bees and butterflies whizzed, buzzed and fluttered around us.

Within minutes we had our very own bouquet. We made a composition with a few common things around our house, lying at the foot of the vase, just like the illustration in our book. Finally, we set it outside on our deck and prepared to draw it.


This purple thistle flower caught our eye with one of our walks with Justin and Senaca yesterday, so one bud, *had* to go in our bouquet. I’d love to revisit the batch for more photos…


Within seconds, we had visitors! Several hummingbirds…


One of our cheeky little squirrels…


Ok, on to the art! We almost never use crayons anymore, but this lesson called for them, so we looked forward to working with the primitive glory and color of a bunch of Crayolas!


Whenever I mention “ART”, Satori gets very intimidated for some reason. She can color all day long, but when I want to “do some art”, she says she can’t draw flowers. Same thing today. So I did draw along with her today, and I did some rough sketches of just scribbles. Her first picture copied my style, oops. I really did just scribble, but was hoping to show her that she could do better than me!


Eventually she got more courageous and actually drew some flowers. 🙂 And a blue hummingbird and bee!


“Bouquet of Flowers on a Ledge” by Satori, age 4.


Waiting for us after we finish this book, or perhaps at the same time, is the K-3 books. There is a set of 3: An Introduction to Visual Arts”, “Stories of Artists and Their Art” and “Modern Painting and Sculpture”. We have the first two, missing only the painting/sculpture book. I will be sharing our projects as we explore the Artistic Pursuits curriculum. I myself LOVE to look at artwork by children. 🙂

We’ve been pressing flowers for a few letters so last week I decided to purchase an official Flower Press. It is a Microwave Flower Press and is just 5″ square but it suits our needs just fine. 🙂

Flower Press

Flower Press

This beautiful purple flower that I found growing in our driveway is now pressed and on its way across the United States!


Okay, this post is literally about our backyard, a few hundred steps out our door! I had heard from a neighbor that the road we live on has a rare orchid. So Satori and I went hunting for it in our backyard and found this, which I’m 99% sure is a Spotted Coral Root Orchid. I doubt this is the rare orchid she was referring to though.

I first saw this tiny plant, Corallorhiza maculata, (it is only a foot tall) a few weeks ago and it wasn’t hard to find him again. He was in our shady forest probably at 9000 feet altitude.

Spotted Coralroot Orchid

Spotted Coralroot Orchid

Corallorhiza maculata, is so named because the Greek word “korallion” means “coral” and “rhiza” means “root” which refer to the coral-like appearance of the lower stem rhizomes. “Maculata” from the Latin word “maculates” means “spotted”, which you can see on its flowers. The Spotted Coral Root Orchid is pretty cool because it does not photosynthesize, but takes advantage of mycorrhizal fungi. It parasitizes the fungi. You can see it has no leaves and no photosynthetic green tissues.


I have read the book The Orchid Thief and the related movie, but we’re no orchid thieves! We just took our picture and left him alone. 🙂


Now I’ll be on the lookout for more Colorado orchids on our hikes, now that I’ve researched them, I know what to look for. Here’s an excellent document regarding Colorado Orchids:

North American Native Orchid Journal – Vol 13, 2007 – “The Native Orchids of Colorado”

And here’s some amazing Spotted Coralroot Orchid specimens taken by a talented photographer who probably took a tripod with him, a 12″ reflector disc. I *did* think of it, but I guess I was too lazy this morning to do all that. 😉

This morning we did a family hike on Rollins Pass, and it was a gorgeous day – mid 60’s and mostly sunny.

Tolland road

Tolland road

We are thrilled to have all this in our big backyard. A few miles west is Winter Park. Below is Moffet Tunnel, which marks the entrance to our hike.

Moffat Tunnel, Rollinsville

Moffat Tunnel, Rollinsville

And another view of Moffat Tunnel, from a ladybug’s perspective.

Ladybug's perspective of Moffat Tunnel

Ladybug's perspective of Moffat Tunnel

The trail was full of rushing mountain steams, and a dozen little wooden bridges to cross. Sometimes we did have to get our feet wet.

We reached our destination, a nice meadow and another wooden bridge over a stream.

David and Satori on bridge

David and Satori on bridge

Satori smiles

Satori smiles

A few mountain wildflowers…

Mertensia  lanceolata (Bluebells)

Blue Bells

Blue Bells

I love the striking red colors of the Castilleja miniata (Indian Paintbrush).

Indian Paintbrush

Indian Paintbrush

I wouldn’t have given this photo a second glance, but the colorful bokeh (round circles) caught my eye.


Hoping to brighten our day with these past few weeks of snowstorms, we made a bouquet of flowers using an egg carton, toilet paper roll and pipe cleaners!

Flower bouquet

Flower bouquet

Who would’ve thought I’d be collecting toilet paper rolls? 😉 (In the past few months I’ve collected dozens.) Well apparently you can BUY them, as when I was looking for shaped pipe cleaners, I came across them. I couldn’t find “bump pipe cleaners” anywhere locally, so I got some online at Kwik Crafts. It was here I found the cardboard tubes.

Here’s our gathered materials. And yes, a regular toilet paper roll works best for this! Don’t mind that I got suckered into buying the cardboard rolls…


Painting our homemade roll, complete with bits of toilet paper stuck on it!

Blue toilet paper roll

Blue toilet paper roll

Satori loved her bouquet of flowers!


Here’s why we needed shaped or bump pipe cleaners, for the leaves of our flowers. I tried to go for the “romantic” look by setting the single flower on our glossy piano. 🙂


How to Make Egg Carton Flowers

Complete instructions on how to make these flowers can be found at the Skip to my Lou blog – “Welcoming Spring with Egg Carton Flowers!”.

I should make a new blog section “When Ordinary People Attempt Crafts” – as Satori said that website’s flowers are more beautiful than ours. 🙂 If we do this again, I would use a thicker chenille or pipe cleaner “stem”, but the shaped pipe cleaners worked out great!