Nature Study

Charlotte Mason Nature Study – Lichens, Journals & Nature Tables

The trees and shrubs in our garden are covered in lichens. Initially, I thought that it was harmful to the host plants but once I delved into lichens and learned a bit more about them instead of looking at them in dread I am very pleased indeed that we have them coating just about every tree and shrub.

Lichens are good because they are an indicator of clean air. Living on the coast it makes perfect sense as to why our garden is a lichen heaven. The strong winds that blow off the ocean blow away any pollution and germs. Lichens generally thrive where the air is clean although there a rare few that will grow just about anywhere regardless of the air quality.

Lichens are not a singular plant they are actually two species, algae and a fungus living in a symbiotic relationship. The fungus forms the outer layer/body (thallus) in which the algae partner can live, protected from damaging conditions such as high levels of light and lack of water.

The algae partner provides the essential carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water with the aid of sunlight.

Now, tell me, do you keep a nature journal yourself? I have kept one alongside my children for the past 9 years or so. I love it! It has moved from being something I did to encourage my little ones to journal, to becoming a favourite personal pass time, one that I will certainly continue for the joy of it even after my youngest has graduated our homeschool. I might even try turning my hand to some Urban Sketching as I love the idea of capturing a moment and preserving it forever. It’s a great way to record your travels too, which I plan on doing much more of now that we are British citizens and have lovely British passports!

Epiphany saw us packing away the Christmas decorations and taking the tree outside ready for collection on Wednesday. I’m always hugely relieved to pack Christmas away. I like to jump straight into the new year and always find myself itching to get going by the 2nd. Now that all is cleared away I have started building our winter nature table. Our nature year poster is up on the wall and of course, our lichens and winter twigs have their place. As always, our copy of Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady is on display on our nature table. I don’t think I will ever get tired of reading her diary. It’s such an inspiration.

I’ll be sure to post a picture of our nature table as it starts to fill up, it’s a bit sparse at the moment but I’m sure after a few walks we shall gather some lovely finds to display.

This week we will be reading from ‘The Book of the Country Side‘ which is a lovely book that looks at the plants, animals and birds of the British countryside through the four seasons. I love this book! 

For younger readers (although I we are quite charmed with this book too) reading from Enid Blyton’s Nature Lovers Book – this is such a lovely book to read to your young children. I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy if you can. Finally, if you are looking for a great book filled with nature craft ideas through the seasons then grab your copy of Nature Smart. This was one of the first books I purchased in our first year of homeschooling and we have used it through the years. All three of these books will be kept in our library for our daughters to share with their own children one day – that’s how much I love them! 

Anyhoo lovelies, that’s it for today. Will see you back here very soon 🙂

(2) Comments

  1. mamasmercantile says:

    I never tire of the Country Diary either, the illustrations are a delight.

  2. Unknown says:

    I never knew that about Lichen! This blog post has taught me so much. Thank you Shirley for the inspiration. I love the idea of a nature table. I need to find a good spot for it.

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