Archive for the ‘ Nature ’ Category

Yesterday’s Beautiful Snowfall

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

I took the camera out to captures some snow scenes out in our yard and the woods behind our house.  It was peaceful and very pretty! Better to focus on that than tomorrow’s surgery, right?!

These photos must tickle my friends who are having 80, 90 and 100 degree temperatures right now, right?!


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Digging Out From the Snow!

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Like so much of the east coast, we spent a lot of time today digging out from the huge snowfall. ED is the youngest and often the hardest worker! She was out there shoveling (and playing) for hours.

Boomer said, “No way I’m going down those stairs.” So, we created a potty spot for her, shoveling a path into the back yard from the garage.

It’s snowing again right now (Thursday evening) — and we’re expected to get another 2 or 3 inches in the next couple of hours!

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Beautiful Ice Storm

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

The ice storm that hit our area was incredibly beautiful.

Our house is nestled down in the woods and the trees were so pretty. The kids and I spent a lot of time outside taking pictures:

DD took this picture:

The evergreens looked pretty too:

The holly bushes looked so striking with their bright red berries!!

We had to include this last picture because it looked so crazy that the icicles were forming upward!

Now we’re bracing for snow… 4-5 inches tomorrow! We tend to loose power with most every storm that comes through… but we’re prepared with the wood stove, flash lights and a camping stove for making coffee! (From the picture below you can tell that we put off doing any schoolwork until the end of the day. Too much gallivanting around outside sledding down the icy hill and taking pictures!)

I just wanted to add that the beautiful icy scenery was MUCH better viewed here from the safety of our home.  When we were on our way home Sunday afternoon we passed five accidents in twenty minutes along the interstate… and that was with the traffic creeping along at 30-35mph.  Most of them were cars/trucks that slid out on the slush/ice, but one car was upside-down on its roof.

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Science Activities (4-6yr olds): Nocturnal – Diurnal Animals (Free 3-Part Montessori Cards)

Friday, September 20th, 2013

This week ED and I read two books together: What Makes Day and Night and Totally Amazing Night Animals.  She really enjoyed both of them and we added in some activities to go with these books.

After we read through What Makes Day and Night, we spent a lot of time in the dark bathroom! First I held the flashlight and shined it at her as she spun around like Earth. Then we got out the globe and we spun it around as she watched:

Then we spent several days reading through the really fun book, Totally Amazing Night Animals. It has little snippets about all kinds of night critters.  It’s an amusing book with great pictures and cute cartoon type drawings on each page.  My kids have TOTALLY loved this entire series (though you’d have to buy it used at Amazon).

I couldn’t find quite what I wanted free out on the web, so I quickly made a set of Montessori type cards of Nocturnal and Diurnal animals.  All of the kids took a turn sorting through the cards. ED also matched the names of the animals to the cards once she had sorted them. If your child is younger, you can have them match the pictures as well, but ED didn’t have any interest in doing that this time round.

You can download the free Montessori sort cards that I made here: Nocturnal and Diurnal Animals Montessori 3-Part Cards


If you were able to use these in your home or classroom, I’d love to hear from you over on my Homeschool Den Facebook Page! That’s also a great place to catch up on all of my old posts as I have a running list of all my latest posts!

Have a great day! ~Liesl


You might also be interested in these related Montessori posts where you’ll find other free Montessori 3-part cards I’ve made over the years.

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

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

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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