At a lunar eclipse thy shadow, Earth, from Pole to Central Sea, Now steals along upon the Moon’s meek shine In even monochrome and curving line Of imperturbable serenity… Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) We were determined to catch the October early … Continue reading Sun-cast symmetry
One of the highlights of our homeschool week is a gathering of a few friends to study art and culture in a rather interesting way that is part of the Charlotte Mason method. We call it Charlotte’s Way Thursday, because … Continue reading Charlotte’s Way Thursday
Starving for fresh air, wide open sky, a hike and some quality time enfolded by creation, I pretty much pushed my family out the door today. We drove to nearby First Landing State Park and took a long slow walk … Continue reading A Blessing and a Prayer
Beginning each April, the Norfolk Botanical Gardens open up their extensive grounds to bicyclists three nights of the week from 4 -7 pm throughout the Summer. We always keep a membership to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens, but never use it … Continue reading F is for Fun and Flowers at Norfolk Botanical Gardens
Summer is coming, summer is coming. I know it, I know it, I know it. Light again, leaf again, life again, love again, Yes my wild little poet. Sing the new year under the blue. Last year you sang it … Continue reading C is for Cheeseburger Bird
I’ve been mulling over a semi-regular post with links. I enjoy other blogs that do this, because they usually post the very best of what they happen to be passionate about which makes for interesting reading! Perhaps you’ll find … Continue reading Nunc Cognosco Ex Parte 1
As a by-product of learning about and locating oak trees for our Autumn Study: Oaks and Acorns, for the October Outdoor Hour Challenge at our favorite Nature Study blog, Handbook of Nature Study, we also are learning to identify the … Continue reading Learning the Leaves in Lafayette-Winona
I have always loved acorns. My children have gifted me with acorns for years every fall. After coming in the house with pink cheeks and noses, and shedding jackets, they would often offer up an acorn found in the yard, … Continue reading Growing in Knowledge of Oaks and Acorns
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, we were driving in and out of mist, at elevations at or around 3,000 feet, but we decided to pull off the parkway at Craggy Gardens. Like every other “chance” we took on … Continue reading On Top of the World
Really, the only redeemable aspect of my Number One Son being four hours away at George Mason University, is the fabulous excuse of being able to re-visit my favorite Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. destinations, and “by the way” stop … Continue reading G is for Great Falls
On a recent cool, crisp, morning at Middle Ridge Farm, we stepped out the door and headed to the barn. A stiff breeze off the ridge caused me to snuggle into my sweater as it loosened the leaves of the … Continue reading Not a leaf, a moth!
What an interesting summer for insects it has been for us! It started with our discovery of Black Swallowtail butterflies on our fennel plant (one of the dill family host plants for Black Swallowtails). The fennel plant which we did … Continue reading Black Swallowtails and Cicadas
American Heritage Girls are back! After a summer break, GraceNotes was so excited to see her friends again. Saturday was the AHG Day of Service all across the country. GraceNotes’ troop leaders had both a morning and afternoon service project … Continue reading AHG Beach Clean-up (and Nature Walk)
Now that the kids are older, Mr. Garner and I are re-discovering our love of hiking. Part of our decision to drive the Blue Ridge was in order to chase a few waterfalls! North Carolina has gorgeous waterfalls. If you’ve … Continue reading Wonder and Awe at Linville Falls!
It occurred to me that this header sounds like a Jefferson Airplane cover tune… Shifting gears… Overnight, very Whitely, discreetly, Very quietly… We shall by morning Inherit the earth. Our foot’s in the door. Mushrooms, Sylvia Plath (enjoy the complete … Continue reading Morning Mushrooms
Thayer’s Gull GraceNotes spends a lot of time in the backyard cavorting on the swing, watching her blueberry bush (she races the birds) and keeping an eye on the fennel (we have more caterpillars!) She also has a gaggle of goslings that she feeds when they sail over, and at one of these dried bread banquets, she is pretty sure she spotted a Thayer’s Gull. This time of year we often see gulls and ospreys and occasionally, a brown pelican, fish in the shallow river water behind our house. She looked in our National Audubon Society Field Guide to North … Continue reading Sketch Tuesday: Birds
… become “flowers that fly and all but sing.” It’s not always convenient to observe nature, but it is quite fulfilling! Early in June, on Graduation Day for Number 1 Son, as we were cleaning, and preparing food for a … Continue reading Captivating Caterpillars…
Write me how many notes there be In the new robin’s ecstasy Among astonished boughs; Emily Dickinson We live in Southeastern Virginia, on a little finger of the Lafayette River, which provides a micro-climate of warmth to our backyard which faces … Continue reading The Early Bird
Well, when Papa Gene sent an email early in the week and invited Grace and I to go strawberry picking and then out to lunch we had to say “Yes!” We planned for Friday, and after Grace’s homeschool P.E. class, we drove … Continue reading Strawberry Picking with Papa Gene
My office, and Grace’s schoolroom, is the former sleep porch perched upstairs in the back dormer of our 1919 Bungalow. When we look out our windows, we are surrounded by trees. In the summer, it is a cool green leafy tree house. In the fall, we watch a squirrel cirque du soleil performance, as they run, play and leap with total abandon in search of pecans from my neighbor’s pecan tree, often sporting nuts hanging from their mouths or clustered in their cheeks! In the winter, it is a study of bare branches on two sides, and evergreens on the other with the swooping of bird wings … Continue reading The Hawk
Actually, I did – take a nap. In honor of the Sabbath, I rebelled against all expectations (self-inflicted and otherwise!) and curled up with my Netflix Season 3 disk 1 of Burn Notice. Yeah – I know – I’m really behind! I made it through one episode before I fell asleep. But, enough about me! Take a look at the photos we took of a little raccoon friend who decided to climb the oak tree right outside the Schoolroom/Office windows and take a nap for the day! Now while I get annoyed when raccoons get in the trash, or attempt to make a home in the dormer eaves … Continue reading Taking a nap…
Yes! and it was actually pretty fun! Setting up and maintaining an ant farm in order to watch the behavior of social insects was one of the projects in the Flying Creatures curriculum we worked on this fall – and so you are asking – why are ants in a flying creatures curriculum? Well, Grace informs me that the Queens fly in order to establish a new colony, with the male ants who have emerged from their pupa stage (conveniently) at the same time. They swarm, mate, and then the males, well, they die (sorry!) and the Queen begins a new … Continue reading Farming ants…
Sometimes not. Yeah, I know. But we really enjoyed the section on insects in the Apologia Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day, Zoology 1 book. We started this study in mid-summer as we were dipping our feet into homeschooling. It is actually the second section in the book, but author Jeannie K. Fulbright suggests working through these later chapters when insects are out and about! The initial “ick” factor has almost been dispelled by knowledge (interesting how that works!) and an informed appreciation of God’s creatures and the amazing way they fit into God’s design! We developed an increased awareness … Continue reading Beautiful Bugs!