Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Natural Wonders

One of our homeschooling friends mentioned a book she was reading called Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. It's by Richard Louv. So, I checked it out from the library and have been reading it here and there as I get time. It's a really interesting book and it seems to fit with a lot of our experiences.

I'm not one for the heat, but there's something wonderful about just sitting outside. When it's terribly hot, we stay very close to the pool, but when it's cooler we run around barefoot in the grass, swing for hours, tend to our garden, and look for shapes in the clouds. There's something almost.. healing.. about sitting out on the deck as the sun sets, watching the kids run around in the yard, throwing a ball to the dog, and wiggling my toes in the grass. I have fond memories of spending long periods of time in the woods, near the lake, or along a creek, and I want my boys to have that as well.

Our tadpoles are doing really well. We added some rocks to their aquarium and they love swimming amongst them. Still no sign of legs, but they're quite huge. They go through about an ounce of boiled lettuce a day. Colwyn has been working on a little booklet on the life cycle of frogs.. here are a few pictures:

Today when we were playing outside, Colwyn found a really neat looking caterpillar. We put it in his bug jar and brought it inside so we could try to identify it. After about a half hour of searching online, we found out it's a Orgyia leucostigma, or a White-marked tussock moth caterpillar. Turns out that it's actually kind of a pest, but I think we'll try to raise it anyway. Doug took the boys out to gather leaves to give it, and boy did it go crazy eating them.

We also went to the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary for the first time last week. It wasn't what I was expecting at all, but it was still pretty fun. We saw a few chipmunks, lots of birds, a lovely blue butterfly, and we got covered in caterpillars. They were hanging from long silks suspended from the trees all up and down the path and we didn't see them until it was too late. It was actually kind of gross.. along each strand were dozens and dozens of wriggling little caterpillars. But the kids liked them, so oh well. I did have that icky feeling like things were crawling over me all day, though.. yuck. Here are some pictures from that trip:

As always, we've been hard at work in our garden. I've harvested quite a bit of spinach already and Doug has trimmed some of the onions to use in, err.. something. When Colwyn and I were picking some flowers to give to my mom the other day, I was marveling over these giant puffball type flowers. I came in to look up online what it might be and was delighted to discover we have a huge amount of chives growing in our side yard. So I made a delicious bacon chive cream cheese.. mm. Just like Bruegers. Here's a picture of the very first spinach leaves we harvested:

So really we're just enjoying our "old-fashioned" summer.. lots of playing in the grass, looking for creepy crawlies, and doing other fun boy stuff. It's so nice to be able to just relax and enjoy my kiddos.



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