Warning! Mini-seed bombs are heading your way! {Nuts}

Listen to this InstaScience nature study: It’s that time of year again - the time when you are afraid to walk under any type of tree that has nuts! Gravity doesn’t help the situation, but the squirrels assist the situation by hurling nuts towards the ground at lightning speeds in an effort to break their tough exteriors and enjoy the yummy goodness inside. True nuts are dried fruits with … [Read more...]

Cones {InstaScience}

Cones come in all shapes and sizes. These fruits of conifer trees are excellent subjects to study in the cooler months. But, did you know that there are both male and female cones? The male cone is typically soft, green, and small. In fact, many of us never even notice it, but it is very important. The male cone produces the pollen for the conifer tree and without it the seed would not be able … [Read more...]

How to Dissect Acorns

Our yard is littered with acorns – both complete and crushed. The squirrels like to chuck these oak tree fruits from a high tree branch to break them up and get to the soft inside. One of our children couldn’t understand why the squirrels would do that. So, we decided to grab a couple of complete ones to dissect and today I am sharing the process with you all! How to Dissect an … [Read more...]

Pumpkins {InstaScience}

When one thinks of fall, we almost immediately envision pumpkins! Big, fat, orange pumpkins. But there are lots of different varieties of pumpkins – some are big and orange, some are brownish with long necks, and some are blue! Inside, pumpkins all have a yellowish-orange flesh. Did you know that pumpkins are fruits? And that pumpkins are most closely related to cucumbers, squashes, and … [Read more...]

Acorns {InstaScience}

I love acorns! And my absolute favorite is this one from the Burr Oak tree. Isn’t it gorgeous? Acorns are the seeds of oak trees. Each one has a cap, which is attached to the tree, a hard shell, which protect the seed inside when it falls from the tree. And the seed, which will develop into a new oak tree the next year that is if the blue jays, chipmunks, and squirrels don’t eat first! Oak … [Read more...]

Bull Thistle {InstaScience}

Bull Thistle is one of those "weeds" that almost all of us are familiar with! Its characteristic purple flowers are easy to spot as they adorn the top of the stem. Plus, its spiky stem acts like a sentinel on the border of vacant fields and along trails. This weed definitely prefers wide, open, sunny areas! But did you know that the flowering stems you see are actually the second year … [Read more...]