Friday, July 27, 2012

Very Insightful . . .

I just wanted to share an amazing post from Julia at Classroom Free.  It is well worth the read . . .


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Getting back . . . to Nature

Monday was very hot and the weather for the whole week seemed stifling, but I decided that if we didn't get out into the fresh air, it may not happen.  As soon as I could get all the kiddos ready, we set out for the mountains.  It was later than I wanted in the day, so I chose a short and mostly shaded hike that we had been on a couple of years ago.  The littles wanted to lead out, so we started on the least shady side of the trail.  

Immediately we were happy to see that everything was still green.  It has been such a dry spring and summer, but the shade of the forest kept the grass and flowers green and blooming.  All of us has noticed an increase in butterflies and moths flying about and there was no shortage on this hike.  Bubba found a butterfly hiding below that grass as we walked by.

Flowers in the sun had long dried up as were berries, but we found some hanging on.  We made it to the half way point that gives us a beautiful view of the valley that we live in.  We all rested in the shade and drank some water before moving on.

The last half of the hike was in the shade.  It was nice to enjoy the coolness and be outside.  The kids did a great job of quietly observing.  We were able to watch squirrels and birds.  We watched a woodpecker scurry around a tree pecking at bugs.  We had a great time. 


Friday, July 20, 2012

Nature all Around . . .

A few weeks ago, Dreamer came home from a family outing with a fuzzy caterpillar.  The area that we visited had a lot of butterflies and moths constantly flying around us, so we were all curious to find out if this caterpillar would turn into a moth or caterpillar.  

 Fuzzy Wuzzy

Once at home, we got out our butterfly enclosure and Dreamer set to work on a nice habitat for the caterpillar.  She incorporated dirt, twigs and fresh leaves.  She first gave it leaves from a poplar tree and he quickly went to town.  ( I saw he, but we really don't know if it is male or female, how can we tell?)  . . . Anyway, after about of week of providing fresh leaves and them being devoured quickly, there were a couple of days of not a lot of eating and then the caterpillar found a comfortable spot at the top of the habitat and began spinning a fuzzy, web-like cocoon. 

 The caterpillar was completely enclosed on the 13th and nothing has changed.  We are excited to see what happens, and hope that something will.

~ ~ ~

A week ago, Darling Helper found a salamander, or newt, in the widow well at a cousins house.  The next day, Dreamer found one also and so we came home from our trip with two amphibian stow-aways.       Dreamers salamander didn't seem interested in eating anything and lasted only about a week, but Darling Helper's slimy lizard has a voracious appetite.  When we got home, she made it a larger, comfortable habitat and after getting some worms to feed to him, she has been excited watch it.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Salty and Sweet . . .

As we drove home from a family members house yesterday, we passed a field of freshly cut hay.  It had rained early in the day and the aroma of the rain mixed with the hay drifted into our open car windows.  I took a deep sniff and then encouraged the kiddos to do the same and asked them what they thought.

"Isn't it great!"  I said.

"It's good," (insert sniff here), "and weird.  Good and weird." Darling Helper exclaimed.
"Kind of like salty and sweet.  I like it!"

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Still Here . . . What we've been doing

We are still here.  Here is a little of what we have been doing the last month . . .

Lots of reading . . . 

Packing . . .

Unpacking . . . with none of this . . .

in between.  Frustrating, yes!  But, we go on.

I am hoping to get some posts in soon.  Hoping.