Okay, so I have finally come up with a new blog title and site, since I am way out of date on the number of shining stars that I now have! Here is a link to my new site, NatureMama Narratives. I'll be posting there from now on, and it should be where I stay, because I have not limited myself in my title in any way. Drop by, follow me there, and leave a comment now and then if you like what you read and see!
Last but not least, I'll share Max's adventures from our recent hike. After hanging out with me and Laini while the disc golf got rolling,
he was anxious for a turn with the grasshopper that Bella had caught.
She passed it on gladly, and he giggled as it tickled his hand.
He spent some time pointing out these fun mushrooms that we found. They were all over the place, and I'm still trying to find my field guide to ID them, as I can't find a website that's extensive enough to help out.
But the most fun was had in the creek. While the rest of us were salamander searching, he was having a blast tromping, sitting and splashing in the water.
The it was on to filling up his Frisbee with water.
While Laini was chillin' and Bella was exploring, Kaney was leading the way. He likes to be the leader all the time, and I struggle to keep him from being the rude, pushing-in-front-of-everyone-else kind of kid. But as soon as he gets the chance, he leads the way. He was the first down the paths with his Frisbee for disc golf.
After Bella led the way into the pine grove, he quickly made his way to the front of the line to lead everyone to the creek.
And he lead the way flipping rocks for salamanders. But along with being a leader, he is a big helper, and volunteered to road-block the salamander for a picture.
That's my boy. And we got a good shot of our salamander with his help. This one was a Norther Two-Lined Salamander, one of the most common that we have in this area. We also had a bunch of tiny mud puppies, but they were way too fast to photograph even with Kane's help.
He's my laid-back, quiet boy, but he knows how to have fun.
While Laini was nursing, napping, and enduring tons of smooches at Broughton Nature Preserve over the weekend, the rest of the kids were hiking away. While still in the field disc-golfing, Bella took her first try at catching a grasshopper and succeeded.
True to her recent nature, she said, "Mama, I liked the way it felt to hold that grasshopper. I like the way he wiggled!" Really, until this summer, she was freaked by bugs, worms, spiders, which was totally opposite my love of the above and the way I was trying to raise her to love them, too. So I was surprised when she dove right in to capture him when I suggested it. She did, however, do the girly squeel and jerk back the first few attempts, but I'm so proud she went through with it.
When we got to the wooded part of the course, Bella went off-trail for a bit, through the luscious, yummy undergrowth, and posed for a couple of shots.
B: Here Mama, take my picture!
B: You better put that picture on your blog, lady!
See, dear daughter, I promised I would.
Bella lead our party into the small pine grove that we've been wanting to explore. But the mystery of the pine grove wore out quickly, as the creek is just below it and all were sweaty and dirty and ready for some stomping and rock-flipping.
The rock-flipping brought an ample supply of slallymanders and even a little group of mudpuppies, which I so tried to photograph, but man are they fast.
Although the frigid water felt wonderful on my feet, I wasn't up for the wading into deep pools, but Bella lead the way happily. That's my girl.
With today being another beautiful mid-80s day, we went to Broughton Nature Preserve, our favorite summer-time haunt. Adam took the frisbees to do some disc golfing, and we spent hours hiking and playing. While he and the older two climbed to the first tee, Laini and I hung out with Max for a bit while she nursed.
Not the best composition on this pic, but I had to share it, because of the look on Max's face. Right at this moment, he is saying, "WOW! MOON!!!" because the light reflecting in the lens opening looks like a moon.
Helena did a little bit of napping...
...a little bit of putting up with Mama's relentless head-smooching (a direct result of being in a wrap all day)...
...some riding through murky, mucky water, thanks to big brother's ceaseless stomping in said water...
Science lesson for the day? Using leverage to remove a huge pipe from the ground presents the opportunity for more lessons on levers and fulcrums, which has been a fun topic over the last couple of months. Whether he has been making simple models to teach with a box and an old ironing board, breaking walking sticks in the woods between two trees, or pulling out pipes from the ground, Adam has been constantly showing the kids how useful the knowledge of levers is. This time it was a second-class lever, where the load (pipe) is between the fulcrum (board) and the effort (kids and Papa!). He is an awesome teacher, and I am so thankful that we have him as a solid participant in our homeschooling efforts.