We went strawberry picking with some homeschool friends. The kids had a great time! The weather was great for it and there were a ton of berries. Many of them weren't even rip enough to pick yet, but we did well.
While picking we noticed some interesting weeds. One was large and fluffy and the flowers were tall and similar to a dandelion. The name of this one is Goat's-Beard.
Here is a better picture of the flower.
"Goat's-Beard shoots are edible raw or cooked, the same way as asparagus, and the plant bases are sometimes cooked like artichokes. Also the fleshy roots of first-year plants have been roasted or boiled like parsnips." ~ Ontario Wildflowers by Linda Kershaw
This weed is a Tufted Vetch. I know they are weeds but I think that these are so pretty and have even left them alone in my garden before.
The kids looked for fossils when they needed a break from picking.
This is a pretty cool one that Austyn found. It's scaly, round and has many circular markings on it. It may be a pleurodictyum. Most of the fossils found here are from the Devonian Period. If you don't know anything about that period, it was a time of large oceans and seas full of sea life. Much of that sea life settled to the bottom and their bodies were preserved in sediment. When the ice burgs were here during the ice age all of the upper layers of the earths crust was pushed aside and this is why we can't find dinosaurs here. The fossils here are much older than the dinosaurs.
Austyn did some photography while there. Here is one creative attempt. I think it's great!
He also took this picture of the two containers we brought to fill up.
There is a story behind this picture that he took. All of the kids were wondering through the berries and Zoe spotted a fluffy thing that looked like a toy. She couldn't resist and picked it up. She started to scream and run with this poor little baby kill-deer. I told her that she shouldn't have touched it and instantly she dropped it in a strawberry patch. I went over and picked it up and it was a good thing one of the kids stayed in the spot where the baby was picked up. I took it over and placed it in the spot where the kids say it was found. The parents were not happy and were flying all around and making a good deal of noise. While I had the baby in my hand Austyn took this picture and it gives you an idea of just how small it was sitting on my two smallest fingers. The parents returned to it after we walked away.
We froze some of the strawberries and with some of them we always make some freezer jam. The best part is taste testing. Fingers always work best for this! LOL!