1. the branch of botany dealing with trees and shrubs.
2. the scientific study of trees and other woody plants.
A couple of weeks ago we were thrilled to notice beautiful trees all over the base flowering in the spring sun. This has led us to talking about how the flowers on trees will turn into some kind of fruit, whether it be berries, oranges, or whatever. Now whenever Hunter sees a tree with flowers on it he excitedly yells, "Mom, those are going to turn into fruit!"
I used to think that the clean-cut, carefully-manicured, overly-pesticided environment of the base was going to be void of many nature experiences. But things continue to pop up from mushroom discoveries to insects to leaves to birds. It's not exactly a nature preserve but there is still much to be learned and explored.
Dendrology, aka studying trees, is one thing I am very excited about. There are so many interesting trees around here and such a great variety, I can't wait to put them in our tree book and start learning the names of some of them. Even just on the base, there is this peculiar and interesting mix of palms, pines, and deciduous trees in all these crazy shapes and sizes. Today we found a palm tree that looked like a ten-foot pineapple and one with cactus-like spikes on the leaves.
- Enature.com has a wonderful online field guide of over 900 trees. You can browse by category (like Palms or Needle-leaf Conifers) and then narrow your search by biological families or by location (choose from fourteen different North American regions). It is very cool.
- Arborday.org has a great Tree Identification Glossary. I really like this one and need to make up some Doman-style word cards with these.
For a physical copy you can carry around with you (you know, like when you're actually out there looking at the trees), we use the DK Smithsonian Trees Handbook. It's really nice and has tons of pictures, not only for learning about the species of trees themselves but for many dendrology topics in general, like identifying leaves and types of bark. It's very cool in my opinion.
"As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth."
Hunter is 5 years, 0 months oldPsalm 103:15