Nature, Construction, and Other Tidbits About Life

We live nestled down in the woods. We come across a lot of critters and sometimes those add a bit of excitement to our lives. 🙂  I wanted to share a couple of stories…  First – a creepy one!!

The other night I had turned off the lights and was listening to music on my ipod-mini.  I leaned over to my side to take out my hearing aid (long story about that!) and used the glow of the ipod to put my hearing aid on my bed side table.  Somehow, I caught a glance of something on the edge of my pillow… I shot straight up, snapped on the light,and said to my Hubby… “Hey, I think I saw a spider.”

He was pretty nonchalant… until he too saw the 3-inch BAD BOY SPIDER moseying towards him!!  Here’s a picture of a wolf spider if you haven’t seen one of them!!

wolf spiderI managed to lift up the cushion and started rushing with it to the door to take it out. It was FAST and I kept spinning the cushion around and around.  Hubby alternated between wanting to take the cushion from me and recoiling as it ran towards his hands!  Anyway, we got it out the door, but that was creepy for sure!

We live in the woods, so we see a lot of critters, but on my pillow?!! ACK!!

We have been having a lot of construction in and around our house, so it’s not terribly surprising to have an extra critter in the house.  The past month or so has been really busy around our home.  We got a new roof put on…

RoofUnfortunately, we are only part-way through all the construction. The gutters still need to be replaced as well as some rotting boards around the windows. We also have some more indoor work that has to be scheduled.  It’s not as bad as doing kitchen remodeling or something like that, but it still takes phone calls and meetings to set everything up.

From this picture, you can see what I mean about being nestled down in the woods.  This is our new roof:

New-RoofWe’re loving the spring-time weather! The frogs are back… we have quite a number of frogs who’ve set up shop in the small frog-pond.
frog-pondMany of the tadpoles already have little legs and will soon be froglets!

Green Frog

We also hear the spring peepers out in force too!

Nothern-Cricket-FrogWe also have a lot of toads.  This guy below is called a Fowler Toad. They are everywhere.  When we were outside doing the rainforest activity (measuring out the average rainfall in the rainforest and in temperate climates), we saw a toad in the driveway. That’s not terribly notable except that Boomer, our dog, stepped on it. (She can be a bit oblivious and clumsy.)

The poor guy was okay, but it released some of the poisonous toxins from the gland behind its head. We knew about that, but hadn’t ever seen it. Anyway, the kids and I found this pretty fascinating… I thought  you might too.

Fowler ToadAnd now, a story about Crystal, one of our two cats. She generally goes by the name Kitty (so original, right?!).  She’s pictured lounging on the table in our dining area there:

KittyKitty had a narrow escape one evening a few weeks ago.  She wouldn’t come in when we called and so Hubby and I went to lay down and read.

A horrible kitty scream pierced the night.  Our other (indoor cat) was at the door with her fur raised and when I tried to head out the door she clawed my foot and ankle.  She was terrified and frantic.

To be honest, so was I!

Kitty’s screams continued… I worried she was being torn apart.

Boomer (our dog) rushed out barking.  Then, suddenly all was quiet. Not a sound. Not even the frogs.

We feared the worst. Hubby and I both put on shoes and went out to scour the woods with flashlights.

My flashlight caught the glow of two eyes.  I moved forward and saw Kitty cowering near the stream.

Unfortunately, I slipped as I tried to climb up the bank towards her and sent her bolting away.  We weren’t able to find her again.

Hours later she came meowing to the door. In the end, she seemed uninjured.

It took her a long time before she would go outside again.

One afternoon Kitty was lounging on the deck. There are small birds nesting under our back deck and Mama Bird flew towards the deck (to go feed her baby).  Kitty was terrified!

Whatever it was that she was fighting/yowling at gave her a fright! We are guessing it was some sort of bird – an owl maybe?  I know we have a hawk nesting nearby, but am not sure that it hunts at night. We also have a fox that lives and hunts nearby, but because it went silent so quickly I doubt that was it.  Usually when I fox is trotting by Boomer goes crazy barking and barking.

We’re lucky Kitty is still with us, I think.

By the way, here is the bird’s nest under our deck. We have guests here every spring. 🙂

Birds-NestAnd here are a couple more pictures of critters we’ve seen here lately.  This skink was pretty big (about 6 inches long or so).

Broad-headed-Skink And we’ve also seen a number of snakes including this ring-neck snake:

ring-neck snakeThose are some of the adventures we’ve had around here lately.  That was much more fun to write about than the standardized testing the kids took last week. 😉

You might enjoy these nature stories from the past couple of years:


And if you want to send your kids out for some fun, you might want to check out this Nature Scavenger Hunt Free Download that I made for my kids a number of years ago.

Nature Scavenger HuntOr this Outdoor Treasure Hunt with QR Codes – Free Printable!

Outdoor Treasure Hunt

See you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! Don’t forget to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter. You might also want to check out some of our resources pages above (such as our Science, Language Arts, or History Units Resource Pages) which have links to dozens of posts.  Don’t forget to check out Our Store as well. :) ~Liesl

2 Responses

  1. Roger Dollarhide says:

    Friend of your dad! Lots of fun stuff here-enjoy pix of your home. Forwarding to my former school teacher friend Mary Wilkins, who has contacted you in the past.

    • homeschooldenadmin says:

      Thanks so much for leaving a comment, Roger! We’ve been keeping busy. Home renovation always take more time and energy than you think it will, right? I remember Mary. Send her my regards! ~Liesl

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