Monday, March 23, 2009

Looking for Spring

On the first day of Spring I gave the boys the camera and we went looking for signs of Spring. It was great to get outdoors and hike around. Here are a few things they found.
The post oak with it's new flowers.
A little purple flower growing near the pond.
A white flowering bush
A flowering fruit tree (peach, I think).
And the lovely fire ants we have in Texas!
The cottonwood showing it's flowers-We have been waiting to see whether this tree was female or male. The one in our old neighborhood was male. This one happens to be a female. You can identify them by their flowers.
The beautiful wisteria we found that was climbing on a neighbor's tree.

After all the fun of searching for Spring we decided to attempt to paint spring trees with the aid of this tutorial. It was so much fun and the boys loved the way the branches on the tree looked real. Happy Spring!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Give Nature Study A Try

" Out in this, God's beautiful world, there is everything waiting to heal lacerated nerves, to strengthen tired muscles, to please and content the soul that is torn to shreds with duty and care....She (teacher/mother) finds, first of all, companionship with her children; and second, she finds that without planning or going on a far voyage, she has found health and strength."Handbook of Nature Study, page 3

I read this today on the Handbook of Nature Study blog, and thought it perfectly captures what has been my experience with nature study. If you haven't tried nature study with your children or even by yourself, I highly reccomend you give it a try this spring. It is very refreshing.

If you need help getting started the above mentioned blog is a great place to look. A recent post entitled: How To Use The Outdoor Hour Challenges: Fitting The Challenges To Your Family, gives you a picture of what it might look like with preschoolers and elementary students.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


By Amy Carmichael

We see not yet all things put under Thee.
We see not yet the glory that shall be;
We see not yet, and yet by faith we see;
Alleluia, Alleluia.

We see the shadows gathering for flight,
The powers of dawn dispel the brooding night,
The steadfast march of the triumphant light;

Be we in East or West, or North or South,
By wells of water or in land of drouth,
Lo, Thou hast put a new song in our mouth;

Therefore we triumph; therefore we are strong,
Though vision tarry and the night be long;
For lifted up, we conquer by Thy song;

Nature Study- A Vulture's Nest

I think that I have posted before about how nature study tends to involve the whole family. Well, today my husband was gathering some old wasp nests, that I had requested, from an abandoned house. All that is left of the house is pretty much just the shell. Anyway, as he was doing this he thought that he saw something in one of the rooms on the floor. He said that he caught a glimpse of something that reminded him of a deer lying on the ground. So he decided to walk around to another window to get a better view. Well, to his surprise it was not a deer, but a vulture sitting on its nest! Immediately the bird flew out the door. After he determined that it wasn't after him; he got a good look at the nest with two large eggs! If you watch closely, right at the beginning of the video, you can see the bird flying out the door. Then at the very end of the video is the nest with eggs. The nest is in a hollowed out place on the floor and the two large eggs are easy to see.