Saturday, June 11, 2011

P.O.P. Nature Study: Strictly Wildflowers

Carol's husband, Michael, brings her wildflowers of buttercups, purple vetch, oxeye daisies, white yarrow, yellow and orange hawkweek, honeysuckle, and yellow mustard. They find a spittlebug on a stem and examine it.

It's a lovely, yet hot, June day. You know the feeling. When we all become human popsickles.

That evening, with everyone in bed, Carol enjoys some leisurely reading of William Wordsworth's poems...especially one from To the Daisy:

WITH little here to do or see
Of things that in the great world be,
Sweet Daisy! oft I talk to thee,
For thou art worthy,

Thou unassuming commonplace 5
Of Nature, with that homely face,
And yet with something of a grace
Which Love makes for thee!
Oft on the dappled turf at ease

I sit and play with similes, 10
Loose types of things through all degrees,
Thoughts of thy raising;
And many a fond and idle name
I give to thee, for praise or blame,

As is the humour of the game, 15
While I am gazing.
A nun demure, of lowly port;
Or sprightly maiden, of Love's court,
In thy simplicity the sport

Of all temptations; 20
A queen in crown of rubies drest;
A starveling in a scanty vest;
Are all, as seems to suit thee best,
Thy appellations.

A little Cyclops, with one eye 25
Staring to threaten and defy,
That thought comes next—and instantly
The freak is over,
The shape will vanish, and behold!

A silver shield with boss of gold 30
That spreads itself, some fairy bold
In fight to cover.
I see thee glittering from afar—
And then thou art a pretty star,

Not quite so fair as many are 35
In heaven above thee!
Yet like a star, with glittering crest,
Self-poised in air thou seem'st to rest;—
May peace come never to his nest

Who shall reprove thee! 40
Sweet Flower! for by that name at last
When all my reveries are past
I call thee, and to that cleave fast,
Sweet silent creature!

That breath'st with me in sun and air, 45
Do thou, as thou art wont, repair
My heart with gladness, and a share
Of thy meek nature!


buttercup---Ranunculus acris

Cow vetch---vicia cracca

flower spider---misumena vatia

honeysuckle---lonicera japonica

meadow spittlebug---philaenus spumarius

orange hawkweek---hieracium aurantiacum

oxeye daisy---leucanthemum vulgare

spittlebug---philaenus spumarius

yarrow---achillia millefolium

yellow mustard---brassica


1.) What are the names of the wildflowers in your area?

2.) Have your children ever seen a spittlebug?

3.) Do you have access to a large poetry anthology that will supply you with poems about nature?

Cecily M.Barker's Flower Fairy books are very good and her flower poems are great for copywork sheets or to copy into nature notebooks.

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