Summer is a season for the senses. From splashing through cool creeks, to building forts and sandcastles, to smelling sweet honeysuckle and making head wreaths out of dandelions. It’s a time filled with muddy toes, floral scents and imaginary adventures.
Because much of it is spent so wonderfully in the moment, it can also sometimes be hard to remember the details of each individual day. That’s when making a book filled with the mementos and stories of summer can be a great idea.
Since we always seem to end up with leaves and flowers in our pockets at the end of a walk, we started to make our book of summer out of pressed plant herbarium sheets and stories we made up about the plant or recounted from the day we found it.
Although it's fun to make up stories about plants and to talk about your favorite parts of the day while sitting in the grass under a tree, we've had quite a few rainy days lately, so we opted for the wonderful tap... tap... tap of our typewriter.
Whenever we pull it out of the closet there is always a lot of excitement and anxious fingers. Perhaps because of the wonderful sound, or because it seems so "official" to write at a typewriter, or maybe because you can type on any material as long as it fits through the rollers.
After pressing our plants under some books for a few days we glued them to acid free notebook pages with normal white glue. You can either paint it on the back side of the plant, or spread a thin layer of glue on a sheet of foil so you can simply lay the flower or plant on the glue sheet to coat one side and then transfer the plant to your notebook sheet.
We also made little envelopes with simple drawings of the pants on them (a great activity all on its own) to hold our plant identification cards and our stories. They would also be good for pieces of bark or feathers, or whatever else you might have found that day.
And since this kind of collecting can get a bit bulky, we glued two cotton ribbons around the book so we could tie it shut and keep anything from falling out.
Now anytime we like, we can be right back in the golden days of summer, read about our adventures and see all of our treasures.... even if it happens to be during the winter next February.
** Important note: Please remember to only take samples from plants that have more than ten stalks, and know which plants are endangered, and which are poisonous.
These great plant guides can help you learn more:
Botany in a Day
A Guide to Wildflowers
A Guide to Familiar Mushrooms
A Guide to Familiar Trees