February 27, 2009
In the beginning, the children fall asleep inside a haystack. This led to a discussion of farming and the evolution of haystacks to hay bales that we see today. My cyberfriend, Gail, composed a blog post of life on her farm, including excellent pictures of hay. Check it out!
February 20, 2009
We were just in time for the display of the zoo's baby giraffe as seen here with her mother, a picture in our hunt:
Here are the items that we looked for, plus a few others that I thought about while we were there. So grab your camera and took a new look at the wildlife through your viewfinder:
- Your favorite animal
- An animal that starts with the same first letter as your name
- The longest tail
- Animal with its tongue sticking out or yawning
- Paw print
- Animal native to your area
- Zookeeper caring for the animal
- Picture of you in front of the zoo sign or on an animal statue
- Capture two different species in one photo
- Mother animal with baby
- Animals playing together
- Animal you wouldn’t want to meet in the wild
- Animal you would love to have as a pet
- Cute and cuddly
- Animal looking at you
- Nicest living area
- Animal playing with water
- Picture that captures the most birds
- An animal from another continent
- Smallest animal
- Largest animal
- Animal with your favorite color
February 17, 2009
February 14, 2009
But these creatures--straight from my kids' imaginations--can make themselves a home in my yard anytime!
Kenna's creation: The Rhode Island Famous Crocodile
Lives in Rhode Island; is green with a pink head and red dots on it's legs; eats oysters, leaves and bird; grows to be 14,000lbs; uses it's oversized tail to swat birds and leaves from the trees.
Mabry's creation: The Pink Snap-headed Allicroc
Lives in cars; is very little with a spikey tail just like a porcupine; it is poisonous because it eats poisonous flowers; it's tail is shaped like a pecan.
Cayli's creation: The Cactus Green Lizard
(Cayli isn't one to fill in the blanks--she wrote an entire story of finding this creature!)
I once was skipping through the rsin forest on a hot sunny day. I knew it was going to rain this afternoon. But it was morning, so I had nothing to worry about. As I was skipping, I saw an odd-shaped green lizard. It had a white long zig-zag flowing down his back. On it's light green tail it had white spikes like a cactus branch on each side of it's tail. The tip of each spike was blue. I saw that he had green eyes, but the middle of his eyes were dark greenish brown. I put out my hand. He crawled on. And I tell you, he was as light as a feather! He was at least 4 inches long. I brought him home and researched him hard. I could not find it in my research, so I gave him a name. I named him the Cactus Green Lizard. That very same day, I observed what he eats and where he lives. He eats green cocoa brown leaves. I learned that he had a family that lives under a green cocnut tree in the rainforest. I let him go under a spikey plant--whatever it was called--and that was where I found him. Even today, the lizard I found is called the Cactus Green Lizard.
February 11, 2009
So this week was as good as any. I swallowed hard and started
Then I sent them out with a camera to see what they would come back with.
Here's what they found:
Fortunately we were at the zoo and the snake was securely behind glass. Thick glass.
Which was good because this snake was active. It kept spiraling around it's area, checking us out like he was as interested in us as we were in him:
Turns out, this snake is a Boelen's Python, native to New Guinea.
Here's a tip: When you go to zoo to take pictures of creepy interesting creatures, make sure you take a picture of the informational sign. That way you can always go back and remember the name of the creature that you want to avoid at all cost in real life.
February 9, 2009
I had never even heard of this splendid bird before our study. And that's a shame--everyone in the world needs to experience this beauty:
(Image lifted from the gorgeous pictures at http://www.natureslorephotography/.)
As we made our way through the zoo, we snapped some shots of a parrot:
But no quetzals.
Mabry was sad, sullen and downright grumpy. While she was thankful for all the beautiful birds we had seen, she refused to smile for the customary family photo. Her day was ruined. And so was ours because she had not seen a quetzal.
Her cantankerous countenance returned to the upright position as she, much to my potential embarrassment, penned a letter:
Thank you very much for your letter suggesting that the zoo get a quetzal. Your drawing of a quetzal is very nice. I really like the colors.
There are some animals that are difficult to keep in zoos and I am afraid that quetzals fit into that category. In fact, there are no quetzals in captivity. Since we only try to keep animals that will thrive in the zoo I doubt that we will ever have them. So I'm afraid that you may have to enjoy them through books and maybe television...
The letter continues with a personal story of when the zoo's director visited Costa Rica and saw a real, live quetzal.
So now my Mabes understands that she'll never see a quetzal at our zoo and I'm as thrilled as a mama can be that a busy executive took the time to affirm my daughter's love for animals and explained away her disappointment as only a zookeeper can. Of course, now I have to figure out a way to get Mabry to Costa Rica...
February 4, 2009
Why tulips? Because you're studying Holland. So it's a must-have accessory. And Wally World (of all places) conveniently had them on sale.
Not 5 minutes after pouring water into the vase and sorting the flowers, the crayons, markers and paints spontaneously appeared and the creativity flowed.
The rebel of the family decided that tulips are nice and pretty and all, but a passion fruit flower would be more suitable for a sheet of paper and a post-pad sticky (it's amazing what my kids come up with!):
I spent some time with my watercolor set and slowly got a grip on my reality: I did NOT inherited my grandmother's artistic talent. So I took a picture:
February 1, 2009
And spent the day of her birthday with her forever friend (they've been best buds since they were 2!). Together they decorated a large cookie...