Maple Hunt


Last month, we were sent out to look for Maples and Maple Seeds by the Outdoor Hour Challenge  from Handbook of Nature Study. (OHC Challenge #10) A perk of buying the e-book is knowing what will come up.  When we take walks, I like to keep my eyes open to know where to find our next object to observe.  I took these photos while out on the Thistle walk, eyeing the seed pods, and planned to return the next week for the Maple Challenge. However, after a few days of constant 40+ mph winds and 80-95 mph gusts, there wasn’t a crisp leaf to be found.



We took a break and drove north to Tillamook with a friend, visited Munson Falls, the Cheese Factory, Cape Mears Lighthouse and the fish hatchery north of Pacific City. I kept reminding everyone to keep an eye out for Maple seeds and maples, almost to an annoying level of nagging.


hm. No maples at the river.


No Maples at the Waterfall.


Nope. Just these huge leaves that were Everywhere. My friend Randy, in the photo, said they were all over the Portland zoo too. We liked the leaves, played with them, and wondered what type of tree they come from. Play with the leaves, play with the leaves play with the leaves.


Walk back to the car, the whole path is just plastered with them. Really thick layers. We had a contest to find the biggest leaves. Wonder what they are?

And then I got home. And read this post –

From Barb. Go read it, if you don’t know where this is going . . . . you’re back? You’re laughing. Ok. Get it out. Mrs. Outdoor Nature Gal doesn’t know a Maple from a Hole in the wall. Go ahead. 

Go figure. Big Leaf Maple. And, ya know what? They REALLY like water. And last time I checked we lived on a lake. They are all over the lake. sigh. I need a sharpie to draw a L on my forehead.


We have Japanese Maples in just about every yard.

Our neighbors caddy corner across the little river inlet of us have a huge beautiful Big Leaf Maple. It is stripped clean from the storm.



These big fellas are all over the bottom of the lake.


Jon and I canoed over and collected some of the leaves and found quite a few seeds.



We’ve been staring at this tree for 2 years. It will be nice to know what it is.


The big leaf maple has these tripod pods. Really furry at the base. Looks like a weird moth or something.  Yesterday we were driving to Hillsboro and stopped at the Tillamook Forestry Center area, and Jon found that the path was littered with the pod seeds.

So – we didn’t fill out a notebook page, or sketch this very cool pod – but we now know what the “big leafs” are, and have a new “always know what it is” tree under our belts!

Head on over to the Outdoor Hour Challenge and see what’s up! Sign up for the Email Newsletter to get the free monthly newsletter with challenges and notebooking ideas!

December’s Newsletter Link – I hear they have a couple of really Nature and Science lovin’ mamas writing on there this month!  Eva is a long time friend of mine from Bend – Hi Eva!

About +Angie Wright

The Transparent Thoughts of an Unschooling Family of Boys - Answering the question - What DO you DO all day?
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5 Responses to Maple Hunt

  1. Pingback: Spring Tree Observations: Maple | Petra School

  2. zonnah says:

    That is the exact same reason why I like the ebooks as well 🙂

  3. Amanda says:

    You crack me up!! I think you can get that marker and add a few lines….make it an “HL” for humble learning mama…We are teaching and we are learning. AND it’s great to see that my nature mentor makes mistakes. If you were perfect, I’d feel like a crumb. A real, tiny, little bread crumb.

  4. (giggling to myself) You will NEVER again need to know what to look for…funny how things work out and we end up actually learning more. I love that you are humble enough to actually post this entry and share an experience we ALL have had at one point or another. Next year I see a full blown maple tree study in your future.

    Thanks Angie.

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