Friday, June 20, 2008

Outdoor Hour Challenge #13

Because we went away and Spring never really arrived to the Pacific Northwest, we are skipping around a little in our challenges. I figure I have to jump to the topic at hand at the moment because I just never know when the weather will cooperate. Monday was a gorgeous day.

This was the only cloud I could find.

Just before lunch we headed to a friends house for Spanish club. We knew we would not get much done since this was the first time we visited her house. She has an amazing yard and garden. She also raises chickens and lives near a beach. We never made it to the beach but hope to the next time we visit. I, of course, brought my camera because I knew there would be plenty of photo opportunities and I was right. Something happened to my zoom lens so I did not get many good macro shots, but I will share what I did get.

We actually watched this bee for a long time flying from flower to flower.

She took us on a tour of her yard and we were really impressed. Since our neighborhood is new and we have not had good weather we have not seen many great gardens. Our friend has put in a lot of hard work and it shows.

She did not know what these were. There were a few things she inherited when they bought the house and she can't bring herself to pull them out. They are rose shaped but have the feel of something like lamb's ear. Anyone care to guess???

When I saw this I thought about HarmonyArt Mom's humming bird feather in her Cala Lily. I looked but did not find any.

The kids wanted me to get the spider web. I tried but the sun was so bright (can you believe it??) that it made it hard to photograph.

Then while looking at the ferns we saw a spider's egg sac. That made them especially happy.

Oldest peep had a great time with the chickens. I think she is a farm girl at heart. I have no idea where that comes from. Maybe my mom....she use to raise chickens in Ecuador. I will have to ask her more about that. Overall it was a nice visit and we can't wait to visit when the garden is in full bloom! When we got home I printed off the flower parts sheets linked at Barb's blog. We also discussed the different varieties of chicken that are available. Now that the sun is out, we may be able to catch up on the challenges.

Outdoor Hour Challenge #12

We have started our own garden!!!!!! We are so excited. I really am not holding out for much since it is so late in the year, but we will try and give it our all. I figure we could always start a fall garden if this doesn't yield. Actually we will start a fall one anyway. Currently in our garden, we have carrots, pumpkins, tomatoes, cucumbers, sunflowers, herbs like, lavender, rosemary, and mint. I will plant spinach, echinacea, and maybe different colors of potatoes as well as more carrots and such for the fall garden. We started everything from seed and really thought we were too late but many have told us the seeds they started earlier in the Spring are now dead. The strange (still cold) weather has killed everything they had. Let's hope it gets warm enough for our stuff to grow well. Below we have oldest peep counting seeds.

Sunflower Seeds!

Middle Peep and Baby Peep lending a hand in the garden...BOYS!!!

Update: We sketched our garden in our journals and have been watering and tending our plot. It has now been a week since we planted and have yet to see any results. Patience is a virtue......

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Now back to the wedding.....

Since we have been busy, I have not had time to finish off the wedding post. Well, to sum it up it was the best wedding I had ever been too. Not one single hiccup( but a few welcomed surprises along the way). My aunts (the one getting married and the one that practically raised her) did a great job of preparing everything months in advanced. I actually went to Ecuador 2 weeks ahead of schedule so that I could help with the last minute things and there were few things left to do. They were just amazing. The ceremony was beautiful in a very nice church and the party afterwards....well, we will just let the pictures speak for themselves.

So the wedding was sweet but then we went to the reception..........

My aunt (the one getting married) really wanted a new "thing" they are doing in Ecuador for weddings and other special occassions. You hire a company to liven your party. They come with a mime (not the kind we know but one who dances and dances and dances), a clown on stilts, a drummer type, and a cute dancer lady. They bring their own music, stay for one hour, and make sure every single guest at your event is on their feet and having the time of their life! They also bring hats, whistles, containers with that foam snake stuff and anything else you are willing to pay for! I managed to hire the group you see in the slideshow without anyone knowing what I was up to. I had to be sneaky because in a family like mine keeping secrets is NOT easy! Everyone was surprised and we had a wonderful, wonderful time as seen by the last two pictures of feet no longer able to stand having shoes on them.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Soccer ends! Let baseball begin!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Missing home........

Courtesy of my little sister who still lives there......

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Low Tide on another cold and rainy day!

Outdoor Hour Challenge #6

I am not a collector because I like minimal clutter. The assignment to collect something has taken me a long time because I really did not want to do it but I also did not want to skip it. I decided that we will collect photos of all our nature observations. Enjoy!

Warning: Image Rich Post!

We awoke to rain and more cold. This is the coldest June I have ever lived through. If this is the typical weather for this area, I don't know how much longer I can take it. Our friends in Atlanta are swimming at the pool and enjoying blooming flowers and an abundant of greenery. I am still wearing a hat, a sweater, and my thick socks....sometimes 2 pairs.

Anyway, we almost did not go, but around noon the rain stopped and the sun tried to peak through. Despite failed efforts it looked not nearly as wet as the morning hours, so we packed into the car and headed to the beach. With the prices of gas out here, this decision was not taken lightly.

When we got there, we all were so happy to have done it. It was pretty good weather for what it was in the am. We got to see less impressive star fish, or anemones but the naturalists were out answering questions and pointing things out we (novice that we are) would have completely missed. Below are some pictures with a few explanations.

This really was the best of the weather. The sun tried although it never really made it out all the way. But with all the goodies to explore we soon forgot the dreariness.

Yes! We are wearing coats! IN JUNE! Enough said....

Kelp! Check out this live Kelp Forest cam!

Snails up close! Baby peep couldn't get enough of these guys.

This was very tiny and took me forever to get just right. I am still not happy, but the lighting was really hard to work with.

Shrimp!!!! He was actually green and very fast. Here are more pictures of these (Who knew!!!!) beautiful creatures.

Hermit Crab

Beautiful empty shell

Tiny crab only oldest peep was brave enough to grab. It did pinch her with its very tiny claws but it was more of a tickle than a pinch.

Mouth of a sea cucumber. His body was buried so we did not see him, but the naturalist at the beach told us there are 4 different kind of sea cucumber in that area. We are on the hunt for all four now. Another link.

Tube worm...this is only his tube. The worm is under the sand.

We only saw 2 starfish this time, but so many other things that we did not mind.

This was a tiny fish and took me forever to focus and picture. Middle peep thinks it might be a tide pool sculpin. It is! It is!! How very cool.

The soggy seaweed covered rocky ground was very slippery!

Of course, another train!

Recently grandma sent oldest peep high rain boots and just in time for our tide pool adventure. Now she could get in as deep as the boys. Tall rain boots are on my shopping list so I can wade too!

I have no idea what those are but at first they squirted water at me and then slowly opened their mouths very wide. Kind of creepy, if you ask me.
EDIT 6/13/08: Tina over at Jetihoja Academy mentioned these might be geoducks. I think she is correct! Check them out here.

Although we did not get to see a moon snail, we did see its egg casings. At first we thought they were broken pottery, but then a fellow SHG homeschooler enlightened us. These egg casings were everywhere. Next time we hope to actually see one of these guys as now we know what they look like.

Starfish in hiding!

Another tiny crab. This one wanted to be flipped over. We continually put it right side up but he would just flip back over. We are still investigating why.

Barnacles! These were at eye level so if we watched long enough we saw them actually move. It was amazing for them to realize that these shells were indeed alive.

The peeps sketched on our way there (what they hoped to see) and on our way back (what they liked best about what we saw). I will see if they will let me post them here another time. Until then, here is this site and this site to keep you researching.