Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Quiet Christmas Eve

It was sunny today and Jack and I went for a ride in the woods. We did yesterday as well but today the snow wasn't melting off the trees in clumps and down into my collar. My poor poor old pink honeysuckle bush is all bent to the ground under the weight of ice from the other night. The ice has been so hard on our trees in the last couple of years. We lost another part of the lilac bush by our porch. I snapped a couple of pics in the woods today.

Monday, October 9, 2006

The Easiest Peanut Butter Cookie

2 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups peanut butter

Blend together eggs and sugar until smooth; add peanut butter, mixing well. Roll into walnut-sized balls; place onto un-greased baking sheets. With a fork, press a criss-cross pattern on top of each ball to flatten slightly; bake at 375° for 7 to 9 minutes. Makes about 2 dozen.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Some of My Favorite Spots

We had the best walk in the woods this afternoon. It was such a beautiful day, we went for a long winding walk all over. It was so pretty out there.

love this spot - it's so woodsy and pretty near the river

I love the sun coming down through the trees.

We ended the walk in a place I am coming to love more and more.
It is where I saw the golden mushrooms.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sunday Afternoon Walk

It is always amazing to me what beautiful things you can find. This is growing on and around an old stump we ride by every day.

I love places at the river's edge where the tree roots are exposed.

I love to sit in this spot and dream.

This is what it looks like from another side. It's a magical place.
(There's water under all that green.)

You've got to believe this when I say, this is really a purple mushroom.
I thought maybe it was a fluke but there were more, tiny little purple button-top mushrooms.

Friday, September 15, 2006

More Mushrooms

Here are more pictures of mushrooms and whatever this is that grows on trees. I'm thinking the little marks on the top of this mushroom look suspiciously like little mouse teeth marks. smile

This one has to be the cutest and most interesting mushroom I have ever found.

I just love all the different colors in the woods.

in the late summer, mushrooms started growing on the trees, becoming bigger and bigger in size

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Grapes and Spiders

We made homemade grape juice when Mom and Dad were here last fall. It was wonderful! I still hope to can some grape juice yet this year, but this will be contingent on whether or not Jack eats them all first. LOL Aren't they just gorgeous?!

I finally got a picture of the spider I see in its web house on one of the ferns as we ride by each day. This is the largest spider I've seen up close and personal. Actually I didn't know we had any spiders as big as this.


A New Student

Graphic Garden I am so happy with the way school is going this year. I bought very little for curriculum, purchased only one small thing besides a Rosetta Stone Spanish program. There are so many resources available, and I plan to use the Internet for a large part of our schooling along with the books we have accumulated over the years so it's just kind of exciting really. I have done school before the way we're doing it this year, but after awhile you slip back into doing "school at home" and everyone gets frustrated. Partly because I love to teach more than the kids like to learn. I am very visual and love all the "schooly" stuff and in the early years we had desks, etc. and wonderfully fun colorful things on the walls and a timeline and I had this big teacher's desk.

This year I am looking at the year as a whole with goals and fabulous and varied pockets of learning together instead of daily schedules. It's Molly's last year and the four of us really want to enjoy it together. After twelve years of school around the dining rbarleyschooloom table it will be very strange without her after this year. But, I shouldn't really say it's just the four of us. I have another student. He is such a silly dog. He climbs up and sits on the chair and sometimes he drops his head down on the table and just sits there like he's listening to me. He probably is. not one care

Monday, August 21, 2006

A Frog and a Redbelly Snake

Sam found a Redbelly snake which was neat because we've never seen one before.

red-belly snake

And then we found this frog on the bathroom window.

tree frog

tree frog

I've been so enjoying this tree in the woods which has an ivy-like plant growing up the side of its dark bark. I just think it's so pretty, and I had never seen this ivy-like plant that is growing up all over things in the woods.

We finally purchased a plant book so we could correctly identify many of the things we had found. This ivy is called Bur Cucumber. The cutest little spiny cucumber-like pods grow on it.

a little cucumber from a Bur Cucumber vine

We also got an edible wild plant book, and it was interesting to note that what I always refer to as thorn apple trees are actually Hawthorns. Our woods are full of these trees. Even within it there are quite a few different species as evidenced by the difference in their apples, but they all have the most amazing and horrible long thorns. Every time I see them I think of the crown of thorns that Jesus wore. Thorns are so awful, I just can't imagine.

Thorn apple/Hawthorn trees are scattered all through our woods. Some are like crab apple trees with little red apples, some yellow, others the apples hang in little clusters like berries. Now that summer is almost over the ground is littered with little red apples. Here is a picture of one tree hanging out over the water.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

A Morning Walk

We all went for a walk early this morning.
I love walking in the woods in the morning.

early morning walk

Here is a flower I had never seen before.
I can't be sure but I think it is a Monkeyflower.

monkey flower

I got pics of more mushrooms. They are pretty and fascinating to look at.
I think these pleated-looking ones below look like little umbrellas. smile

cute little umbrella mushrooms!

I think this is considered a fungus, gross but fascinating nonetheless.

Friday, August 18, 2006

August Photos

I was talking to Dad on the phone the other day and telling him about the fiddlehead ferns that grow so plentifully in the woods and along the trails. Even with driving the trails daily, those ferns just want to keep growing up and I told him how tough and knobby a stump they leave behind when you cut them down. Even at this late date they're still growing up in the trail.

fiddlehead fern stump

fiddlehead fern starting to grow it's almost cute :)

Here's a really pretty picture of a wild sunflower.

wild sunflower

and some of my favorite flowers in the yard

my flowers

and some pretty flowers framed by woods and water

flowers in the woods

We have so many interesting trees in our woods. There is one standing next to "Maple Tree Island" which is very large, but what is interesting is that the middle limb of the tree reaching up into the sky is twisted like a piece of taffy as you can see in the next photo. There are other trees that have limbs like this and I wonder what made it do that as it grew?

twisted limb

Here is another old gnarled and knobby tree.

old tree

This is Maple Tree Island. smile
The kids named a lot of places in the woods when they were little. In the spring when it floods or when the summers are not dry the river surrounds this little piece of land.

Maple Tree Island

This is one of my favorite spots. I love birch trees in with white pines.

a pretty trail through the birch trees