Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fall Nature Study- Things to do with leaves

So, now is the time of year to collect all those beautiful red, orange, yellow, green, maybe even purple leaves. I know today I picked up some aspen leaves, but now the question is... what do I do with them?

Here are some ideas:

1. Make leaf rubbings- we've all done this before- place the leaf under a sheet of paper and rub with the side of a crayon. You can make cards, wrapping paper, notepaper, etc.

2. Make a leaf guide book.

3. Make a leaf mobile.

4. Make a Leaf Man inspired placemat.

5. Make a
framed leaf collage.

6. Make leaf bouquets, place in a small vase and put somewhere you will enjoy.

7. Organize your collected leaves by color, shape, size, etc.

8. Use your leaves as a
stamp when painting.

9. Press leaves between the pages of a heavy book for about a week and then use them to decorate cards, bookmarks, etc.

10. Make a leaf wreath. Glue the leaves onto a circle of cardboard. Hang with a string.

Well, there are ten easy ideas to get you started. If you have any other favorite ideas, feel free to mention them in the comments.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Nature Journal Poems and Quotes

In my nature journal I like to include poems or quotes related to what I am sketching or writing about. Sometimes I write my own poems, like when my family recently went hiking. It doesn't have to be "good," just something to help recall to mind what I saw and how I felt. Here is one of the poems I wrote sitting at the edge of the mountain lake about a tree I wanted to sketch:

Tree at Eagle Lake.
Stately tall pine. Branches reaching.
Bird singing. Wind rustling. Peace.

You don't have to write your own poem. You can find a poem or a quote from a book or even online that says something about your topic. I am including some quotes and poems below for inspiration. They are all about trees, since it is Autumn after all. So go outside, find something you want to record, write your own poem, or pick a quote, and copy it in your nature journal.

Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world. ~John Muir

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. ~Albert Camus

October's poplars are flaming torches lighting the way to winter. ~Nova Bair

falling leaves
hide the path
so quietly~John Bailey

For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For
nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad. ~Edwin Way Teale

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will
flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own
freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off
like autumn leaves. ~John Muir

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Link to Fall Art Show

Today I thought I would post another link to one of HarmonyArtMom's fall posts from last year. She put together a list of fall themed fine art to view online.

Here are two of my favorites:

Paul Gauguin. Yellow Hay Ricks (Fair Harvest). 1889.

Monet, Claude. Autumn at Argenteuil. 1873.

Here is the link: Fall Art Show


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Link to Fall Nature Study Ideas

This image is from and can be seen here.

Today I thought I would share a link to one of HarmonyArtMom's posts from last September. It is all about how to include nature study in your day, with specific fall ideas. I love to just go for a walk and look at all the trees during the autumn months.

Heart of Harmony Fall Nature Study Ideas


Friday, September 21, 2007

Pumpkin Pancakes

Just thought I would share another fall recipe. At my house pumpkin pancakes are a big favorite. Here is the easy recipe:

You will need:
2 cups Bisquick baking mix
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cooked pumpkin (canned)
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl until smooth. Heat griddle or electric frying pan to medium to high temperature. (We heat our electric frying pan to 350'F) Lightly grease pan with oil/cooking spray. For each pancake, drop a large spoonful of batter into the pan. When the pancake bubbles, turn over. Cook the other side until brown. Serve with butter and sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar. My mom likes to top her pancakes with applesauce and sometimes adds in pecans.

The recipe makes about 1 dozen pancakes 3-4" in diameter.

Hope you enjoy.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Vivaldi's Four Seasons- Autumn

Just wanted to share a little autumn music. The weather here is starting to change. I needed a sweater when I went out this morning. It is hard to believe summer is over. Fall always makes me want to get crafty- sew something or knit something or crochet something.
I love this piece of music by Vivaldi.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Some Fall Reading Ideas

When I was in preschool we read the book Freddie the Leaf (which when I read as an adult made me a little sad). We then went out to the big tree outside and one of the teachers drew a face on one of the leaves way up in the tree. It was our own Freddie. Every day we would trek outside to see if Freddie was still there. I remember the day Freddie fell. We all dug through all the leaves until we found him. Then we hung him up on the wall inside. Whenever I see that book to this day I remember those autumn days. Here are a few fall book recommendations.

Check your local library for some of these books. Just a little something to help us all get in the autumn mood.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

It's Fall... Time for Apple Cake!

My family lives in a beautiful place. Just a few miles up the road is a large group of apple and other fruit orchards. During the autumn there are so many people that drive through our town up the mountain to buy apples, buy some of the crafts from the booths and eat apple treats (my favorite is an apple cinnamon donut). My mom and I recently spent some time there taking photos of all the beautiful fruit and trees.

Here is a recipe that I love to make with apples we've brought home from our trips to the apple orchards:
Fresh Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

For the cake you will need:
4 cups apples- peeled and finely chopped (use your favorite baking apple)
1 cup nuts- chopped (we use pecans but you could use walnuts)
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl.
In a medium sized bowl, beat the eggs.
Add the sugar and vegetable oil to the eggs.
Pour the egg/sugar mixture into the flour mixture. Add the apples and nuts. The mixture will be very thick.
Pour into a greased 9" x 13" pan.
Bake 40-50 minutes in a 350'F oven.
Cream Cheese Frosting
For the frosting you will need:
8 oz cream cheese(softened)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tablespoons butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
Beat together all the ingredients well.
Frost cake after in cools.
Refrigerate any leftovers.