Week’s Roundup: June 15-June 21, 2015

Another week flew by and it’s Summer Solstice time already. The summer is officially here, yay!

Photo of the week:

Kids were all about playing with water this week, no wonder, we had a couple of extremely hot days

Kids were all about playing with water this week, no wonder, we had a couple of extremely hot days

What were we up to this week:

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Learning about birds continued

Previously in Birding adventures we tried a Bird Walk and Bird Banding class. Today was all about nests.

I picked up another wonderful book by Sylvia Long and Dianna Hutts Aston “A Nest is Noisy”, so naturally we had to explore the subject. The book as expected is absolutely gorgeous and talks about all kinds of nests, big and small, those of birds and of beasts. Most of the information was new to kids and even to me. 5 stars as always.

a nest is noisy

Their “An Egg is Quiet” is another book on the subject

an egg is quiet

We talked a little bit more about nests, what’s inside and how to tell which nests belongs to a bird and which to a squirrel (squirrels use sticks to build theirs).  10 Facts about Bird Nests (although the video is a bit fast)

Kids then set out to look for nests around our house. Lots of birds were singing, but only squirrel mansion was found:

squirrell nestWe talked about helping birds by leaving materials for them to build nests and kids tried to make their own little “gift nests” for the birdies

D's nest includes tiny twigs, leaves and cat's hair

D’s nest includes tiny twigs, leaves and cat’s hair

C.'s also has leaves and cat's hair, plus she went for esthetics with dandelions :)

C.’s also has leaves and cat’s hair, plus she went for esthetics with dandelions 🙂

We watched a documentary called Hummingbird: Magic in the Air  (link leads to PBS episode, it’s also on youtube for those that can’t access PBS). What fascinating creatures these little birds are! 25 amazing facts about hummingbirds. I had no idea they only live in the Americas, somehow I thought they surely will be present in Asia or Australia.

We also looked at amazing close up photography of hummingbirds, which prompted our art making. Children did their best to draw hummingbirds in flight, while I experimented with my watercolor pencils to sketch one of the close-ups.

painting hummingbirds

It was a very interesting mini-lesson today, there are more documentaries in plans, as I hope to discuss different habitats with kids.

Also please check out our previous art activity “How to paint a portrait of a bird”

Week’s Roundup: June 7-June 14, 2015

Another week went by, and suddenly it’s half of June gone just like that.

Photo of the week:

Despite my protests they managed to sneak a book each to the table

Despite my protests they managed to sneak a book each to the table 😀

What were we up to this week?

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Digging the earth, talking to the plants

What a bliss, no plans, no engagements…we had most wonderful start of the week.

sunflowerous days summer 2015

During breakfast on Monday we decided that we will definitely try to make a tiny container garden this year. There were less successful attempts before, but this time we are determined.

But first we read a little bit about plants.

A Seed is Sleepy by Diana Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long is one of the most beloved and most beautiful books about plants we have, and even though we have read it before, we marveled again at the beauty and complexity of a seed coming to life.

The Where, the Why and the How: 75 Artists Illustrate Wondrous Mysteries of Science is a recent addition to our home library and it was this book that answered questions of whether trees do or do not talk to each other and how long do trees live. Also whether plants eat animals and why, this was especially fascinating to children.

books about plants

Second we went out on the patio and started digging. We turned the soil in all our pots and added some new. We planted tiny seeds for herbs and flowers (not sure if flowers will come up actually). We moved our poor lavender (which we though had died, but it came back to life) into a roomier pot. C. was so good about planting and replanting. She sang to plants, and wished them to grow strong and be well. She was the first one today to rush and check if the soil dried up.

digging the earth

planting seeds

Today we continued our adventures as we purchased a geranium and a viola and our patio instantly looks more cheerful.

But the most important thing we did is we started! our very first! FAIRY GARDEN! Can you tell how excited I am. I regret not doing it earlier, as D. is turning 10 this summer, and I am not sure if this very first fairy garden might also be his only one. Anyway…

I got small shallow pots as I wasn’t sure if children will be into it at all or not, and now we are thinking to add a couple more. We put some dirt, some pebbles and some moss in it. We got a tiny strawberry plant and some ground cover plant from the nursery today and added to a landscape. C. got a tiny table for fairies to have their cake. Kids added shells for additional seating options and some glass pebbles for festivity. I don’t think they are finished yet, so it is work in progress, but boy does it look cute.

D.'s garden

D.’s garden

C.'s garden

C.’s garden

We also watched a fascinating documentary What Plants Talk About on PBS (it is also on youtube for those that can’t access PBS) , and some things blew our minds like plants sending distress signals (little C. was very aware to plants “screaming for help” today, so if you have a child that is easily impressed or is very young, please use caution), or a network of communication between plants of the forest. Very very interesting.

Today we also visited local working farm/museum  and were surprised to see how far along their garden is. I guess the fact that it is almost June haven’t caught up with us yet 😀 We sat in the shade of big trees, kids happily got into mud, ran around and looked at all the animals. We saw dear friends who joined us in our walk.

littleton museum

piggy

always something new to discover! we didn't realize there was a pond there

always something new to discover! we didn’t realize there was a pond there

Lovely, long days, perfect and carefree, how I missed those!