Monday, June 8, 2015

Variations Among Buttercups

I went on a "noticing walk" with some children yesterday.  We were noticing the variety of flowers in the meadows and plantings on our grounds.
 Midcoast Outreach and Peace Center, located at the Midcoast Friends Meeting.
One child, who likes to count, counted the petals on a buttercup and came up with four.  "Buttercups have four petals." "Really?" "Check another!" "Five!  This one has five!"  Soon, we were wondering if buttercups follow any rules.
Buttercups in the meadow.

For the next few minutes the children were intensely attentive to nature, and their own expectations. Eventually, it was decided that buttercups usually have five petals.  We went back to that four-petaled buttercup and noticed more--something had obviously chewed on it.
Lupine flourishing among the peonies by the front ramp.
The children and I had a chance to practice paying close attention to details, we are now making fewer assumptions, and we're asking new questions. I wonder what we will discover when the peony buds are bigger?