My Junior Botanist

On the Fourth of July we took the kids to the North Carolina Arboretum. I've been wanting to visit for a while now and thought it would be a pretty day for it. It was a beautiful place, full of gardens and trails and flowers.

I wish I could show you tons of pictures I took of the Arboretum and my kids, but I can't.  You see about 5 minutes into our tour Rylan's camera batteries died. And because he was one of my main motivators to go to the gardens, I handed over my camera to him. These first 2 pictures are mine, but the rest were taken by him.

Last year my dad went on a few hikes with us in the spring and shared his knowledge of the Smoky Mountain wildflowers with the boys. Rylan soaked it up. He has 2 wildflower guides now and still brings  them out to identify flowers he finds- such as the Butterfly Weed in the alpaca's yard or the various members of the mint family sprinkled throughout the grass.

And since we moved he has been carrying around my dad's old Tree Identification Book, published in 1958, attempting to identify every tree on our property. This past week he has also gotten 2 other tree guides from the library in hopes of finding the few trees he just can't seem to name. So he was pretty excited when the first tree out of the visitors center was this one:

We have one in our back yard. And now he knows what it is. 

 The gardens had an amazing Bonsai exhibit, which was really neat to see.

Rylan hooked on to the Maple Family. And he keeps asking if he is allowed to pick up seeds off the ground to bring home.

He was very happy to see some of the trees he's been seeing in his books. He is tired of Red, Silver and Sugar Maples....

He wants to see and grow the more fancy ones, like the Chalkbark Maple and Paperbark Maple.

So I did come home with a camera full of pictures. Zillions of pictures of trees, bushes, barks and identification labels. And anything else he happened to find interesting.

What are your child's interests? How do you help them to explore them?

linked to Weekend Whatever

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