Category: Outdoor Fun

Outdoor Time 0

Outdoor Time

 We’re enjoying lots of playdates and time with friends this summer.  What a beautiful park! On another note, I think I’m going to train for a half-marathon in September. I’m excited to have a big goal — just for ME!  🙂  It has been years since I last trained for anything.  My last marathon was on the Sydney Olympic marathon coarse… and I finished in the Sydney Olympic stadium with...

Listen to Frog and Toad Calls 3

Listen to Frog and Toad Calls

I was so excited to find this website — enature.com. It lets you listen to the sounds made by frogs and toads. Since we have a symphony of frog calls at night it’s pretty neat knowing which one’s which! Here are the frogs and toads we’ve come across (in the hundreds) here in our neck of the woods:   Pickerel Frog: Fowler’s Toad: Northern Cricket Frog: Cope’s Gray Treefrog: Please...

Our Backyard Classroom 6

Our Backyard Classroom

The past week we had a wonderful time with our friends. We took them on a short hike through the woods and spent a lot of time looking for frogs and things.  LD couldn’t get enough time down at the creek and spent a couple hours each afternoon hunting things down. We found a bunch of new (to us) critters! How exciting! I think this little guy is a Northern...

LD found a turtle 0

LD found a turtle

Today LD found a turtle out in the yard. We think it is an Eastern Box Turtle. We learned quite a bit about these critters: *Turtles can live 50-100 years.*Turtles as a species have been around for 250 million years.*Turtles eat insects, earthworms, millipedes, beetles, caterpillars, fruit, mushrooms, berries and vegetables.*The plastron or lower shell of the turtle can help identify its sex. Male turtles’ lower shells are concave (goes...

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Gardening and our new gardening science curriculum

Gardening continues to be a rewarding part of our home life.  We all have an incredible enthusiasm for our new gardening adventures! Here’s a glimpse at our veggie garden. I put in planks to keep ED and the others from wandering all over the garden. They enjoy balancing along them and have claimed certain sections for themselves! We already have quite a large number of lettuce plants (since that’s one...

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Gardening with the Kids

We have been outside working in the gardens almost every afternoon (for 2-3 hours). This is such a huge part of our life right now, I just had to write a bit about that again.  I thought the girls looked particularly cute yesterday.  Yes, I let my girls garden in velvet dresses!!  They are looking intently for grubs because I mentioned that that they aren’t good for the garden.  When...

So Many Toads! 2

So Many Toads!

The other evening I came home during a thunderstorm.  The toads were covering the road leading to our house. Not one or two, but so many that I couldn’t drive the car around them. I went back a little later and there weren’t nearly as many, but still saw at least 50 toads! And saw that even though I was driving about 5mph and swerving wildly from side to side,...

Nature Around the Yard 13

Nature Around the Yard

We had a lot of fun outside yesterday. We caught lots and lots of little tadpoles (and then let most of them go), as well as a couple of 3-inch frogs.  We came across a snake which I’ve tried and tried to identify.  My best guess is that it is a water snake (another book to borrow from the library!). And finally, we found another quite amazing looking mushroom growing...

County Fair 4

County Fair

Last weekend was LD’s birthday; he turned seven. We still don’t know anyone well enough to have over to celebrate his birthday with us, but we had a wonderful day at the county fair! We were surprised how few people were there — especially compared to “Show Days” (the annual fair that came to our town in central Australia). I wasn’t quite up to getting the kids organized to submit...

Common Five-Lined Skink 0

Common Five-Lined Skink

We have lots and lots of empty boxes out on the porch. Today it was time to break down lots of them and we found this seven-inch lizard in one of the boxes.  We think it is a ‘common five-lined skink’ — probably the adult version of the smaller, blue-tailed lizards we see all over (the Internet indicates that the blue tails fade as they mature.) Please like & share:

Nature Journals 0

Nature Journals

“This is the best day of my life!”  That’s what LD had to say about the nature journaling we started a couple of days ago.  He was SO excited about drawing all the things we had discovered in the woods that he kept begging for more and more time.  WHAT?!!!  Our son said that?! It’s wonderful to find somethings that is so appealing to him (especially if it involves writing/drawing)....

Exploring the Woods 0

Exploring the Woods

We are thoroughly enjoying our new environment. It is completely different than the Outback, but has so much to offer in its own beautiful way. These next few postings will show how much we’ve enjoyed exploring! We are so, so happy in our new home. We just wish Daddy weren’t having to work such long hours. 🙁 LD found this cute orange salamander.  We see lots and lots of blue-tailed...

Nature, the Best Teacher! 0

Nature, the Best Teacher!

I am being challenged to learn about our surroundings just as much as the kids.  Every time I turn around, there’s something else to look up and learn about.  Some of these pictures are reminders to myself to “go look it up!!” Up until this summer, the kids hadn’t ever seen moss.  Now they point it out everywhere and notice how different it can be. DD examined a bird’s nest...

Exploring the Woods 0

Exploring the Woods

A very small creek runs behind the house.  The kids have spent hours hunting for frogs, salamanders and water bugs. We continue to find new things in the woods near our house. We went on a short hike the other evening and came across yellow, red and purple mushrooms too. These are the only new photos to add to our growing mushroom/fungi photo collection, though! Last year, we studied the...