Your Nature Walk Activity
So, now we know how to spot a field maple, it is time for your nature adventure task!
Take a wild hedgerow or woodland nature walk and find a field maple tree. Once you have found it, look for landmarks to help you find it again, then note these down in your field diary.
Then, stand back and observe the tree. What shape is it? What is your overall impression of the tree? How does it move? How do the leaves move? What sound does it make when it blows in the wind?
Move in closer. Look at the bark. What colour is it? What texture? Is there any moss or lichen on it? If so, is it all the same type?
Glance at the twigs. Are they rigid and tough, or soft and bendy? Can you see any buds or leaf scars? Where are they? Along the main branches? Just on the twigs? All the way along the twigs? Or just at the tips?
Examine the leaves. How big are they? How do they feel? Rough or smooth, brittle or hairy? How prominent are the leaf veins?
Look at the flowers, if there are any – how big are they? Do they smell? Are they sticky? What types of insect are being attracted to them?
Notice any seeds – how big or small are the seeds? How far around the tree are they falling? Just beneath the tree or at a distance? Do they all spin the same way as they fall?
Now, take out your field books. Sketch in the outline of the tree and note down your observations on its overall impression, sounds and movement. Then make a rubbing of the bark. Note down or sketch any lichen types growing on it. Make a note of its colour.
Next, take a leaf rubbing, then sketch the leaf. Again, make a note of its colour and texture.
Then, draw any buds, flowers or seeds. Again, make sure to annotate them with colours, smells and textures etc, along with any other thought or observations.
Lastly, don’t forget to label the tree with its name, the date and where you found it. Remember, you may want to come back and re-examine the tree through its different seasons. You can also learn more about this lovely tree here.
I hope you enjoyed this nature walk tutorial? If you have any thoughts, you can let us know by clicking a star and leaving us a note in the comments underneath. You can share snapshots of your nature walks with us too – just use #mynaturenook or tag us with @my.nature.nook on Instagram.
Have fun and happy nature walking x