i was asked to help identify the prairie plants that are in the beds around my kids’ school. i shudder when i remember the day i took jerry’s prairie plant book, some post it notes and a pencil thinking i could simply identify them on my own. nope.
hours later and layers of post it notes, i realized the limits of my knowledge (so limited that i couldn’t even match a photo to the plant in front of me). thanks to my friend and expert brad, he came and named them off with no trouble. and there are some fabulous names.
the next phase was getting them labeled. there are better long term solutions, but for the immediate and as an activity to do with the students, we used construction stakes, paint and clear acrylic spray paint. i used a paint pen for the words.
they were painted to match the color of the bloom and painted green if the plant won’t get a bloom.
second grade painted with me, third grade hammered them in (and wow, i’m glad that went as well as it did…6 hammers at once was a little intense). it was fun to experience this school a little more intimately for a few days. the weather was nice enough that we worked in the barn. the goats were calling to us the whole time.
the reality that i am growing into is that now i am known as “mrs. epp” and i hear it every time i am on school grounds. “hi mrs. epp! hey, mrs. epp!” i keep looking for my dear mother in law who also works there. nope, they’re talking to me. i guess i am a grown up.