• seasons

    a picture post – flowers.

    I’ve been meaning for a month or so to make a post with some of the nature pictures my six year old took this summer. He’s been roaming the street with a camera and then we’ve been looking up the names of the plants he’s taken pictures of. Most of these are from earlier in the summer. If you look close enough, there are a lot of plants that look like they could be the models for extra terrestrial monsters in some sort of cheesy science fiction show. Related posts: Homemade Rocket Ship – a post by my five year old child. Top 5 Dragon Picture Books (for the overly-analytical…

  • homeschooling,  science

    something that might fail: my story of raising monarchs

    There is something amazingly about watching monarch butterflies. For a while we’ve been watching the caterpillars grow up on the milkweed plants outside our house. This past few days we’ve had four monarch caterpillars inside our house. I brought them inside because some sort of black death was taking many of the caterpillars outside, and I had been cutting away frantically at the leaves with dead ones, throwing them out so the contagion wouldn’t spread. These four had all just started their fifth instar, the last part of caterpillar life and they were all unfortunate enough to have part of their old skin hanging off. In my panic I thought…

  • science

    Nature Study Link-Up

    Today I’m co-hosting a blog link-party on the topic of studying nature. I’m curious to see what the different bloggers and hosts post about, because I think there are several different ways to study nature. I’ve seen lesson plans that involve more or less adult guidance and all different amounts of supplies. To some people studying nature means worksheets, crafts and experiments. To others it means watching insects and playing outside. Spring comes and we get lazy about schoolwork here, but we tend to spend a lot of time outside. Then there’s times when we just want to flake out inside, and one of the things we’ll often do is…

  • books,  climate change

    Want to see some amazing monarch butterfly pictures?

    I continue to search for illusive answers about the monarch butterfly. So far the best source I’ve found is a big beautiful book called The Amazing Monarch by Windle Turley. The book has absolutely stunning photographs, interspersed with quotes about the Monarch butterfly. Most interesting to me was the handful of pages at the end telling about the Monarch lifecycle. These pages have an abundance of endnotes, which I appreciate, though I had to smile at how parts of it were written.It has a paragraph about butterfly mating, but ends with “MaleĀ  monarch butterflies are also known for their frequent confusion of the male and female at mating.” This left…

  • environment,  science

    wildflowers, mealybugs and monarchs

    Two years ago my family drove down to a wildflower farm so we could fill our front garden with some of Ontario’s wildflowers. Of course it wasn’t until after we had replanted them and watched them grow for a year that I started to recognize the exact same plants growing wild across the street, and down the road from us. Should I fill silly for spending money on “weeds”? No, it is on the education, for it wasn’t until I was tending to my own labeled plants did I really learn to recognize them. Big and bushy, they fill the yard with life. Insects love them. We watch ants farming…