March 2, 2009: ”I don’t know what kind of tree this came from. We found it on the ground by the neighbor’s house. The buds are reddish brown. We are keeping it in a cup of water to see if the buds will bloom.” ~Anemone
So goes nature journaling with Anemone. We have a little routine that we follow when we’re staying in our own neighborhood to journal. We take a walk,and of all the things we see we choose one item to observe more closely. In this case it was a fallen twig from a neighbor’s tree. We didn’t know for certain what sort of tree it was (I had my suspicions, but I kept them to myself) so when we got home we looked in our field guides for clues. We couldn’t identify the tree by the leaves because there were no leaves. We couldn’t identify it by its shape because all of the trees in our neighborhood have been pruned within an inch of their lives by order of the powers that be (but that’s a rant for another day). We couldn’t identify the tree by the bark because neither one of us thought to study the bark and we were both too lazy to go back outside and check. That left the buds on the little twig Anemone brought home. We put the twig in water and left it on the window sill, and Anemone drew a picture and wrote a caption in her nature journal. Now we’re waiting to see if the flowers will bloom. We are also keeping an eye on the tree itself because even if our buds shrivel up and die, there are plenty more on the tree! And they are opening quickly – they were closed in the morning, and this is what they looked like by the afternoon:
And this is what they look like this morning:
Now that we’ve seen the flowers, we know are fairly certain it’s a maple tree, but we don’t know what kind. We’ll wait until the leaves come in and try to pin down a definitive answer. But hey, if any of you have a theory, let us know what it is! Tree identification was a lot easier in Alaska.