Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Winter Nature Study: Cattails

It's time for a new set of Outdoor Hour Challenges, and the first challenge is to revisit the cattails we found in the fall.

Ah, yes... the cattails that we searched and searched for and finally found growing on a highway exit near our house.  Because we use this exit almost daily, we have been checking up on our cattails quite often, but not up close.  And when I read about the winter cattail challenge I knew we had a problem:  our area had so much snow from Christmas through the first week in January, followed by very cold temperatures, that the shoulders of the road were buried deep in snow.  There was no way we were going to get close to those cattails.  But last week the temperatures started climbing, and by Friday enough snow had melted that I felt like we could make a quick visit.


We observed that the leaves are now brown and the flowers are coming apart.  But how beautiful to see them frozen in snow and ice!


I cut a couple of cattails to look at more closely at home, trying not to fall into the icy water and ignoring the strange looks from people driving past us. Oh, what we homeschool moms will do!

Since the kids didn't actually get out of the car for our cattail study, I then took them to a local park for a short walk along the Missouri River.

We had fun watching large sheets of ice float down the river.

The following Monday we completed the cattail notebook page from the Winter Nature Study ebook, where the kids drew pictures of their cattails and wrote some notes on our observations.

It feels good to be doing our nature study again!  Special thanks to Barb for working so hard to make it so easy to study God's beautiful creation.


  1. A+++ for going back in the cold and snow! I know how you feel about being the "homeschool mom" and doing things you wouldn't normally do unless you had a "challenge" put to you. I think that is why I enjoy not only writing the challenges but then participating in them as well.

    Thank you so much for a glimpse into your winter cattail study.

    Barb-Harmony Art Mom

  2. LOVE the cattail photos! We haven't been out to do a nature sketch or walk since Novemeber - you're braver than I cuz I despise the cold - lol!
    Good job you wacky homeschool mom!

  3. 5 out of 5 sharpened pencils! (to steal a phrase I heard...from Thy Hand Hath Provided... :)
    I love these challenges. I haven't seen any catails except at an intersection near our Target, where I'm NOT getting out to view, but we'll find them! & you've inspired me to bring some home.
    Love your list of things your using, & why in your side bar.
    btw, we are using & loving Liberty's Kids, which you so generously shared. They are not going to waste, we are using them this new year, to study America. I'll try to post a couple of the additional resources we are using, some interesting finds at the library.
    so much good available to use, God is so good! Glad you're a crazy homeschool mom! who shares ideas, resources & inspiration!

  4. Can you submit this one to the OHC Blog Carnival?

    Pretty please?


  5. I love all of your photos ~ great job getting out, snow and all. *Ü*

  6. Your photos are beautiful! I love the one of the river. You are very brave getting out where you did to study cattails. LOL