Friday, September 21, 2012

Fall is Here!

Like I mentioned in my last post: it's been hot around here!  It never fails, though, just around this time of year the little signs start popping up.  The big maple at the bottom of the hill is changing colors, the birds start flying in big numbers, the winds pick up... But our biggest aha moment was this Monday when we made our weekly trip to our neighborhood park.  We've been sitting under the same oak tree all summer.  Some of the kids will bring their nature journals along and make entries.  Mama found a perfect one this week: the leaves right above us.

I've been checking my favorite etsy stores for some fall Montessori & nature activities for my little guys.  They've really enjoyed that there is always something waiting for them to do in this little spot.  I put several counting and sorting type activities for them in a basket and on the table:

For my bigger kiddos I've enjoyed having an identification chart on my frame and

our book basket.  We have our usual favorites that we enjoy this time of year, but I only put some new titles in the basket this season.  Our inspiration this fall comes from Dorothy Sterling's Fall Is Here! and Tasha Tudor's Pumpkin Moonshine (we can't wait for annual pumpkin picking).


The new to us titles include:

* Fall Is Here! by Dorothy Sterling
*The Scarecrow by Caroline Rush (daughter of Mary Norton)
*The Very Best Pumpkin by Mark Kimball Moulton
*From Seed to Pumpkin by Wendy Pfeffer
*A Forest Year by Carol Lerner
*Into the Pumpkin by Linda Franklin (more of a halloween book, but some neat illustrations)
*Witches, Pumpkins, and Grinning Ghosts by Edna Barth

Monday, September 17, 2012

Weekend Trail

It was another hot weekend around here, but we had planned to go on a nature hike with my sister in law and her boyfriend.  So we did!  My husband picked a short and very shaded trail:

It is located behind the Chumash Indian Museum (we're scheduled to tour the inside next month with our California History group).  The kids enjoy a rest stop near the huts and village area;  their favorite part of this trail:

As the trail was getting clearly narrow and full of poison oak we decided to stop.  We turned around to head back but not before climbing a very steep incline that led to some cool rocks.  A new adventure for the kids so climb we did! You'll forgive me but I didn't take pictures of the inside of a small cave the kids found.  You see I made the climb with a toddler on my back...thank goodness for my Ergo ; )  I was busy trying to figure out how I'd get down and making sure nobody would slide off!!  I did manage to take this shot of the outside:

And let me say thank goodness for husbands ... he carried the baby down :D

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Rainbow

taken by my little sister on Labor Day in our backyard : D

The Rainbow
by David McCord

The rainbow arches in the sky,
But in the earth it ends;
But if you ask the reason why,
They'll tell you: "That depends."

It never comes without the rain,
Nor goes without the sun;
But though you try with might and main,
You'll never catch me one.

Perhaps you'll see it once a year,
Perhaps you'll say: "No, twice";
But every time it does appear,
It's very clean and nice.

If I were God, I'd like to win
At sun-and-moon croquet:
I'd drive the rainbow-wickets in
And ask someone to play.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Just One More Beach Day: Part 3

Dad is working the entire Labor Day weekend so on one of his days off this past week we decided to have one last run at the beach before fall becomes apparent.  What a beautiful day:

We've seen so many things on our trips to the sand this summer, but the kids did not expect to see one of these trotting along the shore, yes, it's a horse!

I think that even topped off observing the washed up elephant seal in July and all the porpoise I could never catch on camera! I enjoyed the breeze and light wind.  Even those elements were noticed by the kids and they couldn't help but have small talk on how that was affecting their waves and booggie boarding for the day ; )  After a few tries my boys and I were finally able to take a picture of a flock of bird's amazing V formation (hope you can see them).  Bird formation just always gets oohs' and ahs' from my little guys:

And lastly, our summer beach study couldn't be complete if mom didn't do something, I mean make a nature journal entry, of all the seaweed specimens the boys kept bringing me : O After all we've compared at least three different kinds, taken them home and looked at them under a microscope all summer.  When I was done I got a "that looks good mom" and they moved on to something else ; )

Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend all!