As part of the Trent University Enrichment Program I taught a field botany course to grade seven and eight students from local elementary schools. The morning was spent in the classroom. We talked about how wildflowers grow and spread, different plant parts, what wildflowers grow where and why, and about why it is important to know plants to protect them and their habitats.
As expected, after a few hours in the classroom the kids were getting antsy. We had some fun in class activities, but they knew the afternoon would be spent outdoors, and with the sun shining they wanted to get outside! Trent University has some amazing nature areas and trails, and after lunch we set out to Lady Eaton Drumlin.
I had placed the students in small groups. Each group had a clipboard with a little guide I had prepared about plants I knew to be blooming, a flora checklist, and some paper to make a botanical drawing or their favourite find. It was a fun way to get the kids outside exploring and learning, they all did a great job going through and identifying their flora finds.
However, not everything that was blooming was in the guide.
As I inspected a patch of hepatica with one group, another came running towards me calling "We found something, we found something! Come see! It's not in the guide". And sure enough it wasn't in the guide, nor was it something I had seen myself before.
Thanks to the keen eyes of the children I was teaching I was introduced to large-flowered bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora).
See my other faves from 2016 here.
News, reflections, notes and other ramblings from the trail by PTBO Flora founder Rachel.