Nature study can happen anywhere and at any time. I loved doing nature study with the kids as part of our homeschool curriculum. Actually, we still "do" it, out of habit. We see something, a plant, a tree, a bug and we want to know what it is. We take out our field guides or google it! We enjoy observing nature.
|maple tree in our backyard (we will identify what type soon)|
When we moved in to our home, we noticed the trees right away. We knew one was a type of maple tree (photo above), they are easy to recognize, but we weren't sure about the other three tall trees we have.
Over the last few days, blossoms appeared on two of the trees. They are actually the same type of tree. We have one in the front yard and one in the back. With a little research, I was able to identify it. The one in the photo above is in our back yard. This tree is a Small-leaved Linden, also called Little-leafed Linden or Small-leaved Lime. It is not native to Prince Edward Island.
The small light yellow flowers have a nice smell and as I sat under the tree I could hear the buzzing of many bees. According to wikipedia, bees love Small-leaved Lindens and they make a monofloral honey from these trees. I thought it was interesting to read that the flowers are used in a tea as a traditional herbal remedy in parts of Central Europe.
I also noticed butterflies enjoying the flowers on our tree. We think it is wonderful that these trees are attracting honey bees and butterflies to our backyard!