Dreams of Darwin

Lily of the Valley

…from my backyard

My backyard has such a nice sweet smell lately!  So many plants, bushes, and trees are flowering.  This is the smell of spring that fragrance companies are going for but can never quite achieve.

I’m enjoying it and it seems to be driving the pollinators wild!  The bees, butterflies and other buzzy things are very busy back there.  I just try and stay out of the way of the bees.  Bee stings really hurt!

Speaking of pollinators, have you ever hear about Darwin’s orchid?  Watch this…

Isn’t that amazing!  Think of what you do know and apply it to what you don’t know and you could come up with an amazing theory that could one day be proved out.  I think the hardest part would be having the courage when everyone tells you that you are wrong.

Reminds me of this article too.  Scientist believe there are about 8.8 million species in existence but only about a quarter of these have been discovered and that some of these undiscovered ones might be in our very own backyards!  Wouldn’t it be cool to discover a new species?!  I think I would like to discover two so I could name one doodle and one jot and then I could use them on my banner!

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Doesn’t it make you want to learn more about Darwin?  I couldn’t find one specifically about Darwin’s orchid.  Could it be possible one doesn’t exist?!  Someone should write one!

Here are the books I added to our library request list…

The Tree of Life: Charles Darwin by Peter Sis

As far as I can judge, I am not apt to follow blindly the lead of other men . . . 

Charles Darwin was, above all else, an independent thinker who continues even now to influence the way we look at the natural world. His endless curiosity and passion for detail resulted in a wealth of notebooks, diaries, correspondence, and published writings that Peter Sís transforms into a visual treasure trove. A multilayered journey through Darwin’s world, The Tree of Life begins with his childhood and traces the arc of his life through university and career, following him around the globe on the voyage of the Beagle, and home to a quiet but momentous life devoted to science and family. Sís uses his own singular vision to create a gloriously detailed panorama of a genius’s trajectory through investigating and understanding the mysteries of nature. In pictures executed in fine pen and ink and lush watercolors – cameo portraits, illustrated pages of diary, cutaway views of the Beagle, as well as charts, maps, and a gatefold spread – Peter Sís has shaped a wondrous introduction to Charles Darwin (Amazon description).

The Tree of Life is a 2003 New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year and Notable Children’s Book of the Year, and a 2004 Bank Street – Best Children’s Book of the Year.

Charles Darwin and the Beagle Adventure (Historical Notebooks) by A. J. Wood and Clint Twist

Discover the plants, animals, and people Darwin encountered on his groundbreaking voyage aboard the BEAGLE. Packed with novelties, including extracts from Darwin’s diary and later works, CHARLES DARWIN AND THE BEAGLE ADVENTURE takes readers on an eyeopening exploration of our globe and uncovers the path that led to the cornerstone of natural history: the theory of evolution (Amazon Description).

Darwin by Alice B McGinty, illustrated by Mary Azarian

Filled with the fascinating words of Charles Darwin—designed as handwritten entries—this picture book biography reveals the assembling of a profound idea: the survival of the fittest. Two hundred years after his birth, 150 years after the publication of his ORIGIN OF SPECIES, this thought-provoking, splendidly ilustrated account invites us into the private thoughts, hopes and fears of a soul who forever changed the way we see the world (Amazon Description).

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This post is linked up with Mama Smiles and her great link up Home + School = AfterSchool.  Check it out for lots of fun ways to keep the learning going after school!

Afterschool Blog Hop


I'm a practical mom inspired by nature & I enjoy sharing ideas that encourage kids' innate curiosity & creativity. Interested in subscribing? Check out the blue box at the top of my sidebar. I'm also a wannabe author/illustrator & product designer by day. Let's connect! doodlesandjots@hotmail.com. If you purchase through my Amazon links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you (thanks for supporting Doodles and Jots)! And remember to always credit your source here & elsewhere on the internet.


    • Yes, I could probably make them up a lot faster than actually discovering them. I may have to channel your imagination to do it!

  1. I do this with Year 8 classes when we are learning about adaptation. Their assignment is to create their own animal and explain the reasons behind its different features. Some of them come up with amazing animals and talk about feeding, reproduction, protection from predators, even ecosystems it would fit in.

    • That is a very cool assignment! I suppose they are too old to read them Eric Carle’s The Mixed-Up Chameleon!

    • I know amazing!

      Did I ever tell you how I found you? I typed all my favorite subjects into the Google tool bar like (books, science, art, etc.) and came up with Pragmatic Mom! Then I noticed you also visit Craftwack another blog I love. The rest is blog love history!

  2. It’s wild how varied Peter Sis’ work is! To have done The Tree of Life and then to also have done his little firetruck book (one of Oliver’s absolute favorites). So different!

    Is that Lily of the Valley from your neck of the woods? My mother LOVES Lily of the Valley. It’s so expensive to buy here. We used it for boutineers in our very small wedding and it was most cost effective to trim it from live plants we bought. So beautiful.
    Tiffanie recently posted..when you marry on mother’s dayMy Profile

    • You are right about Peter Sis.

      The side of my yard is full of Lily of the valley – love it and the scent too!

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