Monday, March 11, 2013

Guest Speakers on NC Native Plants

We had an amazing opportunity today to learn about NC native plants from two experts in the field of botany. Julie Tuttle, Jack's aunt, is a lecturing fellow at Duke University in their Thompson Writing Program. Dr. Alan Weakley is a professor in the biology department at UNC Chapel Hill and the director of the UNC Herbarium. They talked with our 4th graders about the diversity of plants and habitats in North Carolina. Earlier in the year, we studied the various regions in our state and about the differences in the geology from the mountains to the Piedmont to the coastal plains regions. Of high interest to the students was information about the native carnivorous plants including the Venus fly trap and pitcher plants. Students got to examine a beautiful pitcher plant from the UNC Botanical Garden and worked to classify and categorize a variety of native plants and trees.

We will leave for our time at Earthshine in the beautiful NC mountains with eyes wide open to the shape, size, color, and texture of the various plants we encounter while out on hikes in the woods. Many thanks to our distinguished guests, and thanks to Robin Tuttle for organizing their visit today.