Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Winter Outdoor Hour Challenge, #2

Winter Challenge #2, click here to see other entries.

We were to pick a tree that we will follow and study throughout the year.  We chose a Sweet Gum tree in our neighbor's yard.  We can see it from our house.  We measured the circumference at 26".

Gracie-Girl measuring the "waist" of the tree.
 We compared our Sweet Gum to the silhouette in our tree book and observed that it is not symmetrical like the book, since it is hemmed in by 2 Short Leaf Pine trees. 
Here is "our" sweet gum.

There were still some sweet gums at the top, and we learned those are seed containers.  We made a journal page that included  a bark rubbing and picture of the winter silhouette. 

I want to comment about this book, Discover Nature in Winter.  I don't expect you to pay $43 for it at Amazon (it is out of print), but in December I was able to get it used for about $5 through them.  My children and I have loved this book and already referred to it several times for tree, mammal, and snow info.  It has tracks of different animals and many great little science experiments you can do.  It is written to the adult, but I often read chunks to my kids and they like looking at the pencil drawings.  So, if you can find it, I highly recommend it!


Remember to be keeping your January Bird List for Tweet and See.  Come back on the last day of the month and use Mr. Linky so we can compare the birds in the different parts of the country we all live in.  We already have seen more birds than in December, they seem to like the snow surprise down south.


  1. We have three sweet gums right out the window from where we sit to work on school. They are such a great tree to observe for the year. Make sure you observe the leaf buds before the spring.Last year we broke off a twig from one branch and brought it inside to put in a vase with water. We actually were able to see the leaves unfold...fascinating. I highly recommend giving it a try.

    Thanks for sharing your link with the OHC. I was wondering if I could use one of your photos as the OHC Photo of the Week? Let me know.

  2. Our family had a gum tree in our front yard. It is gone now, but it was my climbing tree. We always had to watch our step when the seed containers fell to the ground, and we were barefootin'. Instead of seed containers, we called them gumballs.

  3. I love the photo with the measuring tape.

  4. Oh measuring...why haven't we measured?



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