Do Pine Trees Have Seeds?

I accidentally discovered something cool about pine trees and I thought you might find it interesting too. We have a very large pine tree in our yard.

I really like the shape of the pine cones that grow on this tree. So the other day I picked 2 off the tree and brought them inside to dry. I planned to paint them and use them for decorations.

I noticed that the pine cones were starting to open up as they dried.

Here is a picture of a dried pine cone and one that I just pulled off the tree today. Can you tell the difference?

This morning when I picked up the 2 dried pine cones, guess what fell out?

Yep, seeds! πŸ˜ƒ Pretty cool, isn’t it? If you are like me, you might be wondering if those seeds can be planted and grow into pine trees? Well, from what I read online the answer is maybe. The seeds have to go through a process of being frozen for about 3 months and then they can be planted. These seeds have been outside all winter so they might grow. I just might plant a few and see what happens! πŸ˜‰ Most of the time when you find a pine cone laying on the ground, it has already released its seeds. So now you know where pine tree seeds come from!

Happy Earth Day 2021!

Do you celebrate Earth Day? I hope that each of us is doing our part to protect Mother Earth every day! Here’s a fun activity to do with your kids to help them learn to appreciate the earth a little better. Take a walk together with your camera and see how many interesting things you can find in nature to photograph. Look especially for flowers that are just growing wild. Here are a few things I found on my walk:

A dainty little purple flower…

A bush blooming with beautiful pink flowers…

Tiny, tiny purple flowers growing in the grass…

New growth on a tree…

A beautiful bunch of dandelions…

Tiny white flowers also growing in the grass…

Pinkish-purple flowers, growing up on stalks, even in stones…

New growth starting on a large pine tree…

Buds coming out on another tree…

Teeny, tiny bird feather…

A beautiful blue sky with the newly budding tree…

There are so many beautiful things outside that we walk past every day without noticing. My hope for this Earth Day is for each of us to take a little time and truly look around and see some of the amazing things our wonderful earth offers us. Enjoy! πŸ™‚

Monarch Caterpillar Babies Are So Tiny!

Hi everyone! Hope you are all doing great! We have hatched some Monarch caterpillars from their eggs for the first time and I just have to show you how cute they are! And TINY! You won’t believe how tiny! On Thursday, August 13th, I found my first ever Monarch Butterfly egg on my milkweed plant. I was so excited! I am trying to do my part in saving the Monarch butterflies, so I brought the egg inside to keep it safe from predators. Do you see the little round ball on this piece of a milkweed leaf? That’s the egg!

The next day I found 2 more eggs and brought them inside. Then on Saturday, August 15th, the first egg hatched! It was really hard for me to even find the tiny tiny little caterpillar. See if you can spot him in this picture. Look on the left side for the caterpillar…and on the right side and bottom for two more eggs.

Can you see him? His head is black and he is green right now, almost the same color as the leaf. The next picture I took was on Sunday, August 16th. What do you see? The caterpillar is already growing bigger and is a little easier to see. See all those teeny tiny little black dots on the white paper towel at the bottom of the picture? Can you guess what that is? It’s teeny tiny caterpillar poop!! Isn’t that funny? πŸ˜‰

Now let’s look at the picture from two days later, Tuesday, August 18th. I put a dime in the picture so you can compare the caterpillar’s size to the size of the dime. Even though he is growing fast, he still looks very little beside the dime, doesn’t he? See the little hole in the leaf? That’s where he ate part of the leaf.

Guess what else happened on Tuesday? The other two eggs hatched! But wow, I had trouble finding them! See if you can spot one of them in this picture. If you found the “big” tiny caterpillar, then look straight up from him to find the brand new caterpillar.

The next two pictures are from today, Friday, August 21st. The new babies are just 3 days old. Aren’t they so cute?! πŸ™‚

The “big” tiny caterpillar is just over one week old. See if you can find all three caterpillars in this next picture.

It is so fun and so interesting watching these Monarch caterpillars hatch and start to grow. I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing just how very very small these caterpillars are when they start out. Stay tuned for more Monarch caterpillar information next week! πŸ™‚

Toad-i-ly Fun!

We had another friendly visitor to our house this week and he was toad-i-ly fun! He’s brown and he hops around and his skin is all bumpy. Can you guess what I’m talking about?

If you said a toad, you are absolutely right! I was working in my flower bed when he hopped out of a hole and startled me. Has that ever happened to you? People used to say that if you picked up a toad, it would give you warts…but that is NOT true. (He might “pee” on you though!) Toads are actually a good thing to have around because they eat bugs! Here is a closer look at him although he was trying to hide in the grass so I wouldn’t see him.

He’s pretty cool, isn’t he? You can see him pretty well when he is in the green grass. But look at this toad when he is in the dirt.

Can you spot him? He’s harder to see, isn’t he?

How about a couple of toad riddles to try? πŸ™‚

What did the bus driver say to the toad? Answer: Hop on!

What do you get if you cross a toad and a dog? Answer: A croaker-spaniel!

What do toads drink? Answer: Croak-a-cola and Hot Croak-o!

Have a toad-i-ly great day! πŸ™‚