Learning from Life: Archaeologist’s Visit and more

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about finding an ‘arrowhead‘ (really a hafted knife point) in the woods right behind our house. Yesterday morning we had the county archaeologist over to survey the site where we found the hafted knife. He examined it closely and said it was most likely a Piscataway Stemmed Point.  We then took him into the woods to show him the site where it was found. He found several flakes that show that stone tools were indeed made in the woods near where we found the knife.

The archaeologist spent a lot of time talking to the kids and me about how stone tools were made, showing us this illustration which shows flakes being methodically chipped away:


He said the piece we found was probably made sometime between 1500 B.C. and 800 A.D.

He was so full of information about the tool-making process, about Native Americans of the region, about the landscape and changes in the past 500 years.  We also learned so much about what his job entails as a county archaeologist.  It was a really great learning experience.

Meanwhile, we continue to excel in our naturalist studies! 🙂 Does that count as a school subject?!

Over the weekend we found two turtles. One is a male that was wandering around in the woods.

The males have red eyes.

While I was weeding in the front garden, we came across a juvenile turtle. It was SO cute!

She quickly scuttled away when we put her down.

We were so excited when we noticed that one of the tadpoles in our homemade pond actually made it out of the water!  It still had a long tail, but spends most of its time on a rock or on the side of the enclosure. It’s so great to see the process from eggs, to tadpoles, to froggie youth!

In the picture above there’s a bad picture of some of the tadpoles. LD scooped them up with the pink net but I was so anxious about letting them go again that I didn’t realize the picture was blurry and (gasp) only took one photo! In the others you see the little froglet. ED has her hand near one so you can see just how tiny it is (about the size of your thumbnail).

We also came across a garter snake that morning:

And a really pretty-looking mushroom in our yard:

I’m not even going to pretend I know a thing about mushrooms, so can’t identify it for you!

We spent some lovely time at the park over the weekend:



The girls spent lots of time gathering mussel shells!

We topped off the weekend sleeping under the stars on top of the trampoline. We only saw a couple of meteors during the Perseid Meteor Showers, but it was fun listening to the night noises!

We still marvel at the greenery here (and obviously the varied creatures!) even though it’s been two years since we moved here. You can see the contrast with where we used to live in Alice Springs, Australia through this link.

I know I promised to share our homeschool plans for DD and LD (going into 2nd and 4th grades), but I haven’t made the time to sit down and do that yet. Guess I could have been doing that than writing this particular post, right?!! I have it mostly figured out so I should get to it pretty soon… hopefully this weekend.

3 Responses

  1. Kim says:

    I believe the term your after here is `natural science` and it is actually a combo of zoology and botany. So yes, it VERY much counts as a subject!

    • Liesl Den says:

      Ah yes-natural science! I know there’s a “Master Naturalist” program in our state (similar to the Master Gardener program) so there are plenty of professionals out there who need this kind of knowledge for their jobs. At any rate, my kids absolutely *love* this kind of stuff… and so obviously do I!! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *