Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Eggs

I love dying eggs at Easter. There is something so homespun about it. This year it was even more so when we dyed naturally colored eggs in coloring solution I made. This year, however, I colored the eggs myself so I didn’t have to worry about dyed children. They’re bright enough as is.


These beauties are from my neighbor’s flock. The greens are from Americanas.


So easy. 6 oz warm water, 1 T vinegar, food coloring. I liked that I could color multiple eggs at a time.


Here they are! The eggs were very lightly mottled and the color really picked up on it. Now only if the deviled eggs were so colorful!

Blue Belly Lizards

It’s not Spring until the blue bellies come out. And out they have come! We found these guys under some wood we moved to burn. Actually, we found five under the pieces of wood, but the girls felt one lizard per child was adequate.


The long tailed lizard was named Maryanne. I don’t remember the other’s name. The girls put them in a box which Hudson moved to the ground and they became dog food. Poor little guys, Webster obviously needed some reptile in his diet.


Oh right, now you know why they’re called blue belly lizards.


Ice cream, Grandpa and Nana’s treat.




Somebody was tired.


Chick, Chick, Chick

Dad’s chickens are growing fast and so fun to watch. We think one is a cockeral, as he’s the only one with a mohawk. There are 12 chickens and 4 types. They look like raptors when they run and the black French chicks look much like vultures. The girls give them a steady supply of fresh bugs, of which they all fight over- very entertaining. We still have not named anyone yet, as we’re waiting for their final colors so we can tell them apart.

Macy cleans out the coop each Saturday with Dad or Mom. It goes in buckets and then we bring it back and use it to line our garden path. Last weekend we clipped their wings, which was so easy. You clip the first 10 feathers (flight feathers) on one wing so that they are off balanced. Natalie and Lindsey were more than happy to be the official chicken catchers.


These black and copper chicks are Black Sexlinks.


These white with black flecks are Delawares. They are the largest birds so far. They are also the first birds to eat bugs out of your hand. One gal always eyeballs outside like she’s going to jump the coop if given a chance.


These mainly copper birds are Hampshires. You can see they don’t have all their adult feathers in yet. Along with the Black Sexlinks, these have the nicest personality.


These predominantly black chicks (and cockerel) are a french variety. They’re little bullies, and the ones that remind me of vultures. They’re supposedly a rare breed, but I’m not so sure when Dad got them from Main in Rogue River!




Does that look like fun, or what?!


Good grab, Lindsey!


We caught one breed at a time to make getting all their wings easier. I held these two lovies while the girls caught the third.


Look at it’s HUGE feet and the other chicks cowering in the corner. :)



Macy found some pupas for the chickens.

Thanks Mom, for taking all these great pictures!

Float like a Butterfly, Sting like a Scorpion

Our Nature Study lesson this week was out of the ordinary and super fun- a Nature scavenger hunt! I copied off the page from the older girls’ notebooks and set out with Lindsey to help her find some of the items listed. Some examples of things we had to find were something that smelled, something older than you, something taller than you, something with wings, and something smaller than your thumb. Lindsey wasn’t really into it, and I was trying to grab her attention. I found a large decaying piece of bark on the ground and told the kids to gather near while I flipped it over barehanded. Immediately we saw a large red centipede scurry for cover as well as a Jerusalem cricket (yuck!). As we were closely observing the insects I noticed something else… a scorpion! And very near us. I pointed it out and we all took a respectful step back. Then, lo! four pale tan baby scorpions scuttled by. We were amazed. Natalie took off to the house to get Jon and a container. We kept two scorpions and the centipede for several days to study. No one was brave enough to hold the scorpions!

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It’s difficult to see, but the baby scorpion is just behind the large scorpions’ tale. Behind the baby scorpion is a dead bug the girls put in the jar in hopes it would get eaten. In nature scorpions and centipedes often battle, but we saw no such action here. The scorpion’s body was about one inch long, not including it’s tail. The kids drew pictures of the scorpion and labeled it’s body parts. It’s in the arachnid family along with spiders and ticks. It’s common name is Western Woodland Scorpion. 


Here’s the young scorpion after we let him go. Upper portion of the screen, almost in the middle.

Friday, April 1, 2011


How doth the little busy bee

Improve each shining hour

And gather honey all the day

From every passing flower!

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I wish I could recorded the beautiful hum and buzz of the bees in our fruit trees. Yesterday I took Hudson and we stood still and simply listened.  Afterward we watched all the types of bees buzzing to and fro. What a wondrous moment with my boy! I love that even at his young age he can appreciate and enjoy these simple delights.


This flowing plum is dwarfed by the swaying ponderosas.

Henderson Fawn Lily up close

Nature Study has always been near and dear to my heart. The girls know quite a few names like this Henderson Fawn Lily. We live in the perfect area to study nature!

Henderson Shooting Star

This Henderson Shooting Star blends in so well with the surroundings. I remember picking handfuls of these as a child when I visited my grandparents, and now the girls can, too! P4010036

Here is another flower that blends in quite well. The girls do not particularly like it, as it is on the stinky side. I’m captivated by it’s thick stem. Northwestern Saxifrage.


My grandfather planted these daffodils many years ago. Next to this planting are rows of tulips yet to bloom. It’s difficult to see, but there was a fat black bumblebee flying from flower to flower. Such a funny creature!


More blossoms. :)

Palmate Toothwart

This little guy is a Palmate Toothwart.


Buttercups! Bright waxy petals- these are perfect pressing flowers.