Sunday, December 26, 2021

Winter Nature Walk

“If we had a keen vision of all that is ordinary in human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow or the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which is the other side of silence.”

- George Elliot

Thursday, February 18, 2021

A snowy nature day

Snow makes the most mundane landscapes beautiful, and it makes the beautiful landscapes magical.

We just got the most snow we have gotten for over 2 years. We were joking that we got the entire winter in one weekend. Currently, it’s still snowing!

This sweet little bird was picking bugs off the underside of whatever branches were not frozen.

Could this look any more like Narnia?!

This mama deer was going around the thickets of brush with her two doelings and they were so very sweet.

Baby number one:

Baby number two:

And the snow was so beautiful on all of the maples with their moss and little helicopters.

This spotted Towhee was following its friend from bush to bush, looking to see what he could dug up.

Can you see it?

How about now? 

This young eagle was calling to another eagle.

I would like to say I know what animals are thinking, but often I feel that even the personification of animals falls far short. Their motivations are so different from ours that I doubt we can possibly ever know their thought process. However, if I were to personify this wildlife encounter, I’d say, I just interrupted a fight between a mom and her dirty teenage son and she is giving me the appropriate look:

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Beaver Unit Study

In winter, nature study takes a turn of the colder variety. Especially this year, when masks are mandatory and groups are illegal.

We enjoyed a beautiful but cold walk to try to find some evidence of beavers.

Then we headed to North West Trek, and were able to watch the sweet beaver family who are still hanging out in their den for winter.

Then we jumped into our bookshelf and pulled out the Beaver book from my favorite nature study author, Shirley Woods.  These books are incredible.  We paired Jack the Beaver book up with the Beaver lapbook from

Monday, February 1, 2021

A beautiful friend

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.  And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”

― Albert Camus


Medieval Plague Dinner Party

A plague party in the middle of a pandemic... too soon?  Maybe... but 14 year old boys have a dark sense of humor and so I decided to bank on that and just fall, head first, into the theme of the year... which apparently is plagues.  

If you have been following my blog for any amount of years, you have probably seen the HUGE parties I usually throw my incredibly extroverted son, Logan.

Forced to painfully tame his guest list, we decided to go all out with a sit down dinner.

Everyone got plague masks to wear and rats to have as pets (not really, they were plastic) and a huge medieval feast!

I created a medieval ambiance with a cardboard and tissue paper stained glass wall that I tucked into my window to create a upscale but macabre kind of vibe.

The "feast" was a full table charcuterie board with bread and 4 kinds of meat, 7 types of cheese, two types of grapes, two types of figs, dried fruit, jelly beans, salmon spread, nuts, chocolate candies, and any other decadence I could fit in.

The activities were this Madlib I made up special for the event and then we all sat on the couch with our snacks and watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  Always a crowd pleaser!

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Encounters with Nature

I got a new lens for Christmas..... I am not sure I need say more.  (Such fun!)


Monday, January 18, 2021

Winter Nature Study

Winter nature study

Lots of masked field trips or going to less crowded areas like lakes and walks.  2020 winter nature study has been an exercise in finding things close by to go to and making up our own field trips.  No Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts....  no nature clubs or co-op field trips.  This year has been a whole new animal.  

One thing we did do was take the drive-through trip through NW Trek.  This year they opened it up to personal vehicles to do the tour.  It was a wonderful day to watch for wildlife!

Afterwards we got to go into the park, masked, and do the walk through things.  Less animals out this time of year but we got to watch the black bears poke out of their cave under a tree, and that was thrilling.  :)

We also followed quite a bit of the Handbook of Nature Study for our Nature Study books.  I hear they are coming out with a new version with color photos and I can't wait!  This is our most used book in our library by quite a bit.  Getting a version with color would be incredible!
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