Saturday, January 14, 2012

Nature Trail

 With all of the mud that just seems to not go away, we are long overdue for a nature walk. The fields are still too muddy to walk back to the trees behind the farm we are staying at so I found a nature trail nearby. When we had a warm spell, we decided to take advantage of it and visit the trail.

 There is a trail with a large pond. I thought that these shallow water plants made a good picture.

 I just love the swirl pattern on this stem. For the life of me, I can't remember the name of this. An insect lives inside. I find with so much on my mind, I'm more forgetful. I can't even find this online right now. I have lost my resourcefulness, temporarily. A nature walk can be so helpful when times are tense.

 I have read that nature walks help kids with behavioural problems. Lately that would be my kids. None of us have been ourselves, but I think there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Things will change soon.

 The trees have such a simple perfection to them. There is just something so perfect about this picture. Don't you think?

 Austyn and I decided to study the bark of the trees since that seemed to be the most noticable thing while we walked. It seemed like a good time for a comparison. I will post a separate post on this. We also found other things to look closely at while studying bark. I'll do a post on that as well. Here is a stick that Austyn is holding up so that he can see the moss close up.

 Zoe decided that she wanted to climb this hill.

 Austyn noticed the base of this tree and wanted me to take a picture of it. It looks so cool!

 Austyn noticed that most of the pine trees had their branches come off of the trunk in a perfect circle around the tree. Check out how the branches come out of the trunk in a ring around the tree, then no branches for a couple of feet and another ring of branches. It was like this all the way up each one of these trees.

 The large vines growing up through the canopy are great for trying to swing on.

 Zoe is too noisy for us to get close to any animals but we could still see tracks. Here is a deer track.

 Some of the trees had this black stuff on it. It kind of looks like the left over of a cooked marshmellow on a stick and then burned. I've seen these on trees before. I'm not sure what it is. These walks give us more questions. This is one of those questions for further research.

We couldn't decide if this is one tree or many.

We will likely return to this trail. I think this hike calls for more research and also for a return hike to look for more interesting things. I was told that there are lots of fish and turtles around the pond in the summer.

Bark study post to follow and also a post on other things we found while studying the bark. 

Catapult

We have been doing a great deal of school type activities the past while but we still fit in random things that show up because of interests. In the background of this picture you'll see Austyn's newest, homemade toy. It's a catapult made out of large popsicle sticks.

The instructions on how to make it are in this book:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Birthday Party

 Zoe attended a birthday party this week. My cousins daughter is around her age and invited her over.  Zoe had a great time and behaved well without her brother there. It was interesting to see how she was without him around. They really have been bumping heads hard lately.

It was a good time and well needed.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lego Quest

 We haven't been doing the challenges for a little while but this time we finished in time and I was able to submit Austyn's entry to the blog. Here is what his entry said:

by Austyn, age 8, Ontario, Canada.

“This is a bridge between two towers. The black and white piece in front is a skyscraper. This gives you an idea of how large this bridge is. On the left side there is an opening at the bottom for cars to drive in and that is where they catch the massive elevator. It holds 50 cars at a time. They go up to the top and can cross over the bridge. The bridge takes about 25 minutes to cross at 100 km/hr. When they are finished being in the right tower they cross back over and go back down the elevator. There is a ton of parking in the towers and people can go there to work, live, shop, take vacations and there are very high viewing areas at the top of each tower.”


 After viewing all of the other entries from around the world he decided to make another bridge. Below he is illustrating that the bridge is almost as long as he is.

HERE is the link to this challenge. Austyn's is closer to the bottom. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Book Sharing Monday - The Three Grumpies

This book was a perfect pick for Zoe. She can be so grumpy somedays! The Three Grumpies by Tamra Wight is a cute story showing how three grumpy monsters follow a little girl around.

She tries to get rid of them, but in the end the only thing that works is a smile that turns into full out giggling.

After reading this book, everytime I see grumpy monsters following Zoe around I smile and then I start to giggle and I tell her that I'm giggling her grumpies away. She smiles and starts to giggle too. It REALLY works!!

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