I’ve been away for a moment, dealing with a little thyroid issue that is, thankfully, on the upswing. I’ve been reviewing where I left off in my blogs, and realized that I have an overflowing email inbox/twitter feed/Google+ feed, so I thought I’d take a moment to share some tidbits with you all.

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Magic of Seeds

I have been blogging on my homeschool and science blogs and websites about wildflowers and seeds. I just love starting the year thinking about seeds: they’re so spiritual. Everything about the new plant, no matter how gargantuan, is contained in that tiny seed, even down to the first miniature leaves and the beginnings of a little root.

To me, a seed is a lot like the tiny heart that forms so early in a pregnancy, long before mom realizes that she’s even pregnant. Beating… beating… beating… each beat, full of hope and promise. I used to be amazed (well, I still am…) when I split open a bean and see that perfect set of leaves, the tiny stem of the baby peanut plant, just waiting for water and a little sunlight to unlock the magic.

So fall is a fitting time to talk about seeds. The world around us (at least in New England) is starting to turn toward winter, which appears so dark and dead. But those little seeds clinging to the tops of the coneflowers, hidden between pine cone scales, nestled among the leaves in the flower garden, are the hope for new life, in just a few short months.

Learning About Seeds…

$39.00 at Apologia Educational Ministries.

If you have been skipping over to my science website, Simple Science Strategies, you’ll know that we have been studying wildflowers and their seeds. For those of you who want to do a little more work on wildflowers and seeds, Apologia Science has a great text book, Exploring Creation through Botany, which is suitable for any elementary grade student. Chapter 5 of this text is all about fruits, seeds and seed dispersal. Read about samaras, those “helicopter” fruits that fall from maple trees, and other interesting information about seeds.

See the photos from our “sock walk” for more wildflowers in the aster family, and others.

At Handbook of Nature Study, my friend, Barbara McCoy, has a wonderful nature study on asters, one of my favorite all-season flowers, and one of the most common families of wildflower blooming in the woodlands and meadows here in Connecticut, in September.

See my posts in A Child’s Garden and Simple Science Strategies, for more about our wildflower and seeds study, as well as my award-winning Squidoo lens, “Seeds Get Around.”

Enjoy That September Sunshine!

I went apple picking on Saturday with my youngest son and my mom. We had a great time in the spectacular 68 degree weather, and realized that we needed to ditch our sweatshirts before we headed into the orchard. We picked four pecks of Empires, Cortlands, McIntosh, and Galas, and bought the world’s freshest sweet corn, some Italian frying peppers, an assortment of colored bell peppers, a basket of Roma tomatoes, and two delicious cantaloupes that never made it past the evening dinner.

Homeschool mom Meg Wilson shared a fabulous list of links to scavenger hunts that take your kids outside and exploring! See “Scavenger Hunts! ”  at Heart of the Matter.

Download “An Apple a Day,” a 20-page collection of apple-themed notebooking pages for studying the structure of apple flowers and fruits. $1.95

The Gardening Corner…

Fall gardening excites me. I sneak bulbs and herbs into the ground until I can’t work it anymore, and scatter wildflower seeds over weedy patches, just to see what will happen, come next spring.

I also start focusing on the inside of my house, trying to bring some gardening fun indoors. One plant that will do well both indoors and out is bamboo. I have grown it as a houseplant, but love the way it looks as a screen planting outside. MyGarden.org has more information about the bamboos, and how to get them established in your garden.

Seeds in Literature…

If you don’t subscribe to The Daily Cafe, you really should, especially if you love everything about language arts. Click on over to read a review of the children’s book, The King and the Seed, a traditional Chinese folk tale, retold by Eric Madden.

Old King Karnak is worried. He doesn’t have long to live, and there is no heir to the throne. To find one, the King holds an unusual competition. Knights and lords flock to the palace and the King gives each of them a tiny seed to grow. Watching the competition is Jack, the farmer’s son. Jack gets his hands on a seed, plants it, waters it, and waits for it to sprout…  What do you think happens next?

The King and the Seed, by Eric Madden. $16.95, at Barnes & Noble (click image for ordering information).

Fun for Foodies, Too!

Photo credit (c) Michael Hopkinsii, 2006 (via Creative Commons)

My husband saw the bags of apples we picked, and reminded me that he isn’t a big fan of apple pie. But he is, he remarked, a fan of pecan pie, and other autumn delicacies. We went to the grocery store today (bought pecans, of course), and saw the beginnings of the influx of fall food festivities. Could Thanksgiving be far off?

I saw this great salad recipe that uses some of those fall veggies, fruits and nuts: baby spinach from a late crop, seedy fresh figs, and walnuts, plus Parmesan cheese crisps and cute prosciutto roses. It sounds just delightful. I think even my non-apple-pie-eating husband would like it (how could you not?). Check out the recipe for Fig and Frico Prosciutto Salad at Iowa Girl Eats.

Seedtime and Harvest…

“And God said , Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” — Genesis 1:29

In church, we talk frequently of sowing seed into someone else’s life, into our church family, into the community. I think of the spiritual aspect of seeds every time I work in my garden.

Some timely readings about spiritual “seeds”: