BARK AND LEAVES
If we want to thoroughly examine the entire shrub or tree, we should gather and preserve all its parts. Except for flowers, which we conserve as described above, we should collect seed samples, fruit, bark and leaves.
If we haven't made a "copy of” bark in the field, we can make a plaster cast. Various plant parts can be cast, but the bark gives the best effect. The mold can be made of clay or plasticine, and the cast itself after returning home – of plaster or epoxy resins. Of course, you have to assemble the side walls of the mold, before filling it with plaster. After the casting is dry, we remove the mold and paint the plaster in the natural color of the bark.
We can conserve the collected leaves in various ways, however, this should be borne in mind, so as not to tear them off without needing too many. It is best to pick the hard autumn leaves just before the color changes, when they are no longer needed by the plant and are getting ready to fall off themselves.
The easiest way to preserve leaves is to dry them like this, how flowers are dried. We can dry the leaves individually, but also in compositions depicting different colors of leaves from one tree, different leaves from one garden, forest etc.. With a whole range of autumn colors at your disposal, we can create varied compositions.
"Copy” we make the leaves in the same way, the way we made them from the bark. For a simple leaf shape comparison material, we can make their "shadows”. We put the leaf flat on a piece of cardboard or paper and spray it with spray paint or paint over with a brush, creating the outline of the leaf. When painting, we make brush strokes from the center to the outside, so that the paint does not get under the leaf and spoil the effect.
We can show the structure of veins in a leaf in two ways. We make the leaf skeleton by removing the leaf blade, while leaving the strands. In turn, we make a print of the leaf using the method used in printing technology.
Making a cast of bark
1. We put the clay to the bark and press it into the grooves using a board and a hammer.
2. We bend the imprint, fasten the sides and place it in the sand.
3. We fill the mold with a mixture of plaster and water. We leave it to solidify.
4. When the plaster solidifies, we carefully remove the mold from the casting. We clean the casting with water and a stiff brush.
Fabrication of the leaf skeleton
Boil the leaf in water for an hour and leave it in the water for a week. When the plate is soft, we take it off gently with a brush dipped in liniment.
We grease the leaf with paint or shoe polish, leaving it thin, even layer. We place the leaf with the wet side down on a piece of blank paper, cover with tissue paper, and then we press and reflect its shape. After the picture dries, fix it with a fixative.
FERN LIFE CYCLE
Ferns have an interesting life cycle, divided into two parts. Sporophytes are large, characteristic leaves. On their underside grow small brown tubercles (sporangia), that contain disputes. After spilling out and hitting a damp place, heart-shaped ones develop from them, Rooted, flat foregrowths — gametophytes. They produce sexual organs – archegonia and anteridia, in which eggs and spermatozoids are formed. Spermatozoids have petioles that allow them to swim on the surface of wet gametophyte. From a fertilized egg, an embryo develops, forming a new sporophyte.
We can make a plaque explaining the transformation of generations, containing dried fern, and drawings of other elements of the cycle.