Thursday, June 30, 2011

Nature Connections-June

This has been a month of unusual weather.  We have had humid, scorching days, pleasant cool days, crazy rains, and also hail.  The variety has kept it interesting.  Any day is a great day to get outside and play, observe and wonder at the beauty all around us.
After the rains, we found some huge mushrooms.

She was so fascinated by these.  I saw her playing with them in all sorts of ways...umbrella, ear muffs, seat cushion, lollipop, and who knows what else her imagination came up with.

Watched a sunset together....

We read somewhere that every time you see a colorful sunset it will be a clear sunny day the following morning.  We have closely observed this for months and so far it has held true.

Found a Cecropia Moth by the barn...

Picked Blackberries...

Found a Passion Flower... (the TN. state wildflower)

A busy Bee...

A Katydid....

and watched the garden grow...

Some of our favorite nature connections this month were birds and more birds.
Check out more nature connections at Sherry's blog here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Baby Birds Everywhere

We have spent the month of June closely watching the birds around our yard.  Over the last year, we have learned to identify and name over 40 species of birds....mostly those found in our own backyard.  We are learning the unique calls, which I imagine will take a lifetime of patient observation and attention.  It has become a very enjoyable hobby for all of us.

Mockingbird Nest

Baby Mockingbirds
Barn Swallow Nest
Bluebird nest...

All 5 Blue Birds hatched on A's 5th birthday so it was really special.

They are so adorable...(day7)

This is day 13 and they're mostly feathered out.  There are still 5 birds in the nest.
We found our duck's nest in the fence row...sadly neither duck is staying on the nest and these became dinner for nearby predators.

Baby Cardinals

Another surprise on A's birthday!  5 Peachicks hatched. We got the eggs from H and A's Gammie and put them under one of our broody hens.  She is taking good care of them.  There are 4 brown and 1 yellow.  We have noticed the yellow and a brown exhibiting the male strut and putting out his feathers.
We also have an annual apartment full of Purple Martins for the nesting season.  They spend the afternoons chattering away and they're very fun to watch.  Did you know they migrate to N. America all the way from Brazil?  They are fascinating birds. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Art in the Park

The kids had the opportunity to participate in an art in the park program.  The classes met for two, half days and they chose two categories of art.  At the end of the second day, we all watched a performance by the drama team based on the book, The Great Kupok Tree.  We packed lunches and stayed the day, to play with friends.

H made a clay elephant.

A painted some watercolour fruit.

A made a paper mache' turtle and used a seashell for it's shell.  H made a paper mache' fox sculpture.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Birds of Play

A few weeks ago, we visited Kentucky Down Under.  It's a small Austrailian themed zoo that allows you to get up close with most all of the animals.  I think the favorite part of the day was playing with the birds.

We were able to walk with several Kangaroos, Wallabies, and an Emu.  Watched a kangaroo with a baby in it's pouch and discovered the pouches are vertical not horizontal and the baby stays in the pouch up to 6 months before it ever comes out.

The cave was awesome and a great way to cool off on this HOT day.

This Peafowl was hanging out in the tree until we got to close.  These birds are so beautiful!

The Border Collie made sheep herding look so easy, the kids thought they would give it a try.  It was a  little harder than they thought.

Audrey and her cousin, Walker.

The kids learned about the different breeds of sheep and the variety of uses for their wool and horns.

A Frogmouth....he looks a little grouchy but I would be to if I were locked in a cage...and he's not a morning person either.  They are nocturnal and closely related to the Nightjars(Poorwills).


Back to the birds...

Okay, I had fun with the birds, too!
Land of Lories

A special day for us.....

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Spring Rock Farm

We are very thankful to have met a wonderful, Christian homeschooling family that lives close to us.  They have a beautiful farm and five delightful children.  We had an adventurous day together exploring a cave, walking the land, and playing in the creek.


This will likely be one of our favorite days of the summer.  New friendships and an encouraging reminder of the goals I have for my own simply, serve others, raise godly, healthy, thoughtful children, and strive for a Christ-centered home and a righteous life.
Our society seems to diminish the important role of a mother.  I see from a new perspective how profound an effect a good mother can have on the world.  It starts at home in our own hearts and overflows to all generations to come!