Wednesday, 21 December 2011

No kisses this Christmas

December has been really cold and wet for us.  Most of the time the sky looked like this:

Since Christmas has been on our minds a lot, we decided to see whether we could find any mistletoes.

Given that Britain has a bumper crop of mistletoes this year, we were surprised at not being able to find any on our walk!  Not wanting to go home empty-handed, we decided to do more with the evergreen berries we did find.

First we observed the berries.  Both types of berries looked exactly the same.  Without the accompanying leaves, it would be extremely difficult to tell them apart.  The holly branch was obvious, but we did not know what the other plant was so out came our tree guide book.  Now we know: the other plant is appropriately called Firethorn.

Tiger decided to take his investigation a step further by peeling open the different berries.  We were both surprised to find, consistently, that the firethorn berry has only 1 seed inside while the holly berry has 3 seeds each.

What did we do with the plants after our nature study?  We used them to decorate our wreath!  Nothing like a bit of impromptu nature craft to appreciate the beauty of nature.

On hindsight, knowing that mistletoe is a parasitic plant, maybe it's just as well that we did not find any.  Who wants to kiss under a parasite, anyway?

This post is linked up to several blog hops, where you can visit to see what other homeschoolers have been busy with.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think I would have been able to tell them apart! Merry Christmas,
    Beth =-)


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