Daily Archives: March 21, 2013

Tree rings

As a mother one must never pass up an opportunity to teach a child.

Little J and I hike nearly every day. Possibly due to fresh air supply to my brain or coffee that I drink on the way to state parks, my best thinking occurs in the wild. Which works out great because my lovely son has infinite amount of questions that multiply as he walks in nature. I tend to fire the answers pretty fast and well, rarely faking them or using google ( mostly because the signal in the woods is too poor to use the internet.)

Then there are rare occasions where I remember something I learned in school or from my grandfather with enough detail that I can make an educated lesson on the fly. Like the one about the age of trees. I recently enjoyed explaining to Little J the art of telling the past simply by looking at the cross-section of the fallen or cut down tree. As I am sure you all know, every year tree’s growth records a ring. As we count those we can tell how old the tree was. Scientist can also tell by the size of the ring about climate changes, fires, volcanic events, insect infestation, if Lindsey Lohan was arrested that year… To be really fancy I even consulted my assistant aka iPhone and taught my son the study of tree rings is called dendrochronology.

So we counted some rings, practiced math, had an interactive lesson in biology and a physical activity all in one. Pass on the mommy award!

Yesterday morning Little J crawls into my bed. The sun is shining on our faces and he is looking at me lovingly.

Little J: Mommy if you were a tree you would be two years old.

Me: That’s sweet. Why two?

Little J: You have two big lines on your forehead.

Next lesson: chemistry. How to mix up Botox.

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