Massive Hornets Nest, Before-After Room Shot and other Summer Stuff

I remember reading once that you are never supposed to write about not blogging. “Boring!” someone said.  I still feel the need to apologize or explain the infrequent posts, though! We’re still in summer mode and while  I think I’ve more-or-less hammered out our fall semester and have been busy browsing and purchasing books, scoping out cool science experiments and activities, making some worksheets and games for our units, I’ve felt flat about writing about that. My plans feel just a tad-bit too nebulous to share quite yet!

So meanwhile, we’re thoroughly enjoying the summer season…

The kids finished up a week of junior rangers camp. It entailed a lot of driving back and forth, but the kids had a blast especially since so many of their friends did the camp as well.

Our yard has been a hotbed of activity! Check out this amazing hornet’s nest.  They are bald-faced hornets and the nest was about the size of a small soccer ball.  I read that these hornets can be very aggressive. Gulp… I guess I need to count myself lucky when I rode under it on the ride-on mower!!!! I’m sorry to say, that since the nest was about 12 feet from the front door, we destroyed their home. And yes, I *do* feel pangs of guilt!

We’re enjoying some veggies from the garden like tomatoes, cucumbers and this enormous zucchini! I have a wonderful recipe for zucchini muffins and plan to make those in the morning!

We still see lots and lots of wildlife in and around our yard and woods. There’s a family of three deer that are around a lot (my friend nearly ran into the buck!)… and a fox that is always driving Boomer crazy!  We saw a small little snapping turtle for the first time.  We see box turtles a lot, but hadn’t seen this type before. Cute little guy, isn’t he?!! He made a FAST getaway!

Last year we had four frogs in our make-shift pond. This year because it has been so wet and rainy we have just one resident… a green frog.  It’s been fun watching the tadpoles grow and we saw small froglets about the size of a fingernail hopping away into the garden undergrowth. It’s sure fun to see that cycle.

We also have a grey tree frog that lives on our gazebo.  We learned the COOLEST thing about them the other day!! We were browsing through some new science books (which are really terrific and we’ll probably add to our homeschool curriculum)… and the title of the article was “Frog-cicles… sort of like an icicle, but not quite.” Some species of frogs don’t try to avoid the cold, they freeze solid… and survive! It talked about frog antifreeze… when temperatures drop below freezing as much as 65% of the frog’s body water is frozen into ice. But the frogs arm themselves with antifreeze to protect their cells… This includes the gray treefrog (below)!

In general we’re enjoying the beauty of summer:

And summer activities…

I continue to organize and weed out toys/clothes and overhaul the kids rooms. Here’s a before/after shot of DD’s room. We had some old-ugly cabinets that we threw into her room the day we moved in–and never did much of anything with her room after that. I took a before picture after we had moved a bunch of stuff around, but honestly her room did look pretty awful!

DD helped me make some of those cheap cubbies to give her stuffed animals homes. She spends the majority of her play-time playing with her stuffed animals so we got rid of a lot of the toys she never touches. I also took out a lot of the books (like Disney books, etc.) and put in chapter books that were more on her level because she loves to spend time on her own in her room reading.  That’s what I did this past Sunday…

That’s about it for now! Hope your summer is going well!



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