Plants– they're everywhere, but have you ever really looked at them? From the humble dandelion to the mighty oak, these amazing living things surround us, happily minding their own business. Without plants, our world would be less colorful. Without plants, our world would be more boring. Without plants, we would be… dead!
After our year's study in botany, my appreciation of plants have grown exponentially. Who knew that plants were so complicated? (Well, a botanist knows, but I surely didn't!) Did you know that…
-to ensure pollination, bees go in search of pollen from only one kind of flower at a time? -ferns and mosses send out sperm from their male part to swim to the egg in the female part? -some flowers have ultraviolet patterns on their petals to show bees (that see in ultraviolet) where to go for food? These are called nectar guides. (to see some examples of these flowers, go to this website: http://www.sciencephoto.com/set/1420/uv-flowers)
God's care is revealed in how plants continue to flourish and grow despite the many obstacles that can impede reproduction. And God's beauty is shown when we see the many varieties of plants that are in our world. He could have made one kind of tree and one kind of fruit and one kind of flower, but we have thousands and thousands!
And as the perfect end to our study, we took a trip to the UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens. They have plants from all over the world, beautifully arranged in little nooks and along paths. It was easy to imagine that you were somewhere other than Berkeley, California! The kids brought along their homemade botany journals and sketched the interesting plants they saw, and we brought a picnic lunch and enjoyed in on the lawn in the middle of the gardens.
The gardens were so big that we couldn't walk it all in three hours. We definitely plan another trip this summer, and if you are in the area, I recommend that you do too!