Did you notice the dried flowers on my table in my last post?
I found them last month when our home school group went for one of our weekly nature hikes at a local park. (Gum Grove in Seal Beach) There were hundreds of them. Dried by the hot summer sun and reminding me of fall.
One of the best things about our weekly nature hikes is how much the kids and I have learned about our local flora and fauna. These plants for example, called Artichoke Thistle. They are considered to be an invasive pest but I still think they are beautiful.
Even more than what we have learned, I appreciate how much more we notice now as we explore nature. Our vision has grown keener and someone is always spotting a small bird nestled amongst the branches, a hawk soaring overhead, fiddle heads, a tiny wildflower, a furry caterpillar.
And as we visit the same location in different seasons, yes we do have seasons in southern California, we watch that same flora and fauna change. Here is the wild artichoke in spring.
You may be more apt to notice it then because that purple is so striking.
And here it is in the fall. A completely different looking plant, but still beautiful in its own way.
I have learned to take along scissors and extra bags for the treasures we collect on our nature walks. I tried to avoid the thorns and prickly parts and cut a bunch of these to grace my fall table. We've changed our nature table to celebrate and reflect autumn and these fit perfectly.
I'm wondering what fall beauty is gracing the trees and hills and fields where you live? I might not have forests of gold and orange leaves to swoon over, but there is still beauty to be found.
Wishing you beauty in your day today.