We did a lot of berry picking this summer. When Sam, "I hungy NOW", figured out edible things grew on trees and bushes she was stunned! She ate so many her poop was lovely purplish, greenish technicolor for most of July. That was fun.
During our two weeks at summer camp, our cabin was surrounded by wild blueberry bushes and she got very used to picking her own snacks. She was never far from my sight, but I worried quite a bit. I knew that while she knew what was good to eat, she didn't yet have the capacity to distinguish what was not. One evening she was quite occupied around the corner of the cabin, and we were quite occupied with other things. After a few minutes I went to check on her and saw to my dismay that she was happily munching on blueberries. And not blueberries.
We paid the camp nurses a visit, watched her closely, and finally gave poison control a call. Luckily, according to poison control, a baby pre-molars won't chew berry seeds and that is where the toxins are. So whatever it was...she'd be fine.
But I still didn't know what this plant was, and while reassured that Poison Control said it was fine, still really wondered if my kiddo had ingested toxins or not. So we tried to figure out what it was. We searched the internet and asked some of the camp staff that was known to know their plants. To no avail.
Enter my new favorite app...Project Noah.
Project Noah is a citizen scientist app, working to build a huge inventory of cataloged nature photos that others can search through. Also, you can upload a photo of something you would like identified and someone else out there will tell you what it is. I took a picture of my mystery plant...and a few days later had my answer. "Canada May Flower". And no, not poisonous.
In addition to uploading your own wildlife spottings, you can undertake "Missions". This fall when I am doing my unit on NH forests, I think we might join the "Project Red" mission and photograph all the red we find in the forest around us.