Sunday, October 3, 2010

OHC: Signs of Autumn

Join us as we study nature using The Outdoor Hour Challenges. This year Ryne and Grace are joining with friends Cameron and Avery to explore this beautiful world God made. Moms, Kellie and Casey, are enjoying the adventure as much as the kids.

I'm a little behind on posting this challenge! Two Fridays ago we were scheduled to do OHC #2 - Geese, but the geese did not cooperate. There is a small lake in our neighborhood that attracts lots of geese, but I guess it's too early for their arrival. So we decided to do the extra challenge Barb posted that week: Signs of Autumn. We limited our search to the front and side yards, but still found quite a few hints of my favorite season.

The first clue was the cooler temperature that day. The sky was so blue. It was a perfect day!

When we my husband and I lived in downtown Chicago, he said you could always tell it was fall when the ivy turned red on the outfield wall of Wrigley Field. But I like it even better when the red vine is crawling through a green tree, with a bright blue sky in the background.

If I hadn't started doing these challenges last fall, I still wouldn't know what this lovely yellow plant is called. Thank you, Barb, for teaching me about goldenrod. I notice it everywhere along the highways, but this is the first time I've seen it in our woods. I hope we get even more next year.

One walnut tree in the front was almost bare except for this pair of walnuts. They were so big that I wasn't sure they were walnuts (plus I thought all our walnut trees were in the back), so I hammered one open for the kids to examine (some even tasted). They are not easy to open and, two weeks later, my hands are still stained! We have walnuts all over our property, but we rarely use them for anything besides using them for golf practice, hitting them into the woods behind our house. : )

All but a few acorns had fallen to the ground.

I don't know if this is a sign of fall, but one of the kids found this neat fungus growing on the willow tree.

And here is another sign of autumn: children sitting at desks. It seems like just yesterday we were spending our days at the pool, and now we're already done with a month of school! The girls were finishing up their notebooking pages.

We had a great time welcoming the new season.


  1. I love the photo of the goldenrod....I have not seen much this season yet.

    Our walnut tree is still loaded with leaves but the squirrels have eaten just about every walnut from the tree already. What a mess.

    I am glad you were able to get outdoors to look for signs of autumn and follow it up with a notebook page.

  2. We always tossed all our walnuts in the gravel driveway & drove over them to knock that nasty green husk off, saves on the dyed hands but don't walk across it barefoot!!!