Who needs paper when mounds of sycamore bark covers the backyard? If you’ve followed the blog for awhile you have probably seen this bark used in a variety of ways. It’s a FAVORITE natural medium of ours that falls from the branches of our sycamore trees and during our last storm it was covering the backyard. I have stashes of it waiting for new ways to incorporate it into projects and some extra special pieces I have displayed as their own objects of art. Something I find so endearing is that I will spot a little collection of it and then I’m told ” I was saving this for you mommy, do you want to keep it? “. They know it’s a favorite treasure of mine and they take it very seriously! I have made a sculpture with it here, and tucked valentine love notes in it here.
With this last collection we experimented by adding color to the bark and using stencils. Oil pastels seemed to work the best with the rough texture of the bark and next I think we’ll experiment with opaque watercolors and paint.
Enjoy this last bit of summer and if you spot any interesting bark near your house try using it as a canvas for art.
Taking a walk through the woods behind our house has to be one of the most peaceful activities for me. The wildflowers that I see are precious and we try not to pick too many of them since we want them to thrive there. This is VERY hard for a certain 4 yr old girl. She could wipe out the entire ecosystem in one walk around our trail. I do let her pick a few here and there but try to explain to her that we want the flowers to keep coming back year after year. It’s hard enough to keep what we have with all of the invasive bush honeysuckle that we have crowding out most native plants and flowers. I recently found this great resource for identifying many of the flowers and edible plants that we have growing in the woods and in our own backyard. It’s called Edible Wild Food and it has great images of plants and flowers that are edible and easily found in the wild. They also have some recipes and great tips on foraging. We have a huge variety to explore and try. I guess that’s one great thing about letting our backyard get wildly overgrown. I’m very slowly figuring out what to keep and what to pull out. We use no chemicals so this is a tedious project that consumes me once spring hits. The photos I took above are just a few non-edible wildflowers we have but some edibles we’ve discovered are lambs quarter, mullein, wild bee balm, wild violet, sweet rocket, goldenrod, and yarrow, and of course dandelion. You may also like this previous post with many resources for native wildflowers.
Take a peaceful walk and see what you can discover, but watch out for this!!
Happy 1st Day of Spring! It’s a chilly one here…
Join us again this Spring for local hikes on some nearby Kansas City trails. Click on the image above for the schedule of hikes. All families are welcome to join us in building community while we explore the nature that surrounds us. If you are not local, find your nearby trails and have fun exploring with your family.
View this post from last Spring for some great resources for connecting with your family through nature this season.