pumpkin harvest days 2012

we’re still not bored with Butler’s Orchard‘s Pumpkin Harvest Days.
it was a summery fall afternoon
and we couldn’t resist making the trip.
signGirl getting stung by a bee before we even paid
didn’t put a damper on our visit one bit.
we picked our pumpkins
then enjoyed all the fun the farm had to offer.
we finished off our visit with a sinfully sweet pumpkin roll from the Farm Market.

my girls, competitive? really? maybe just a little.

look, ma! i’m the queen of the bale!

time to sign up for six flag’s read to succeed

for the past couple of years
we’ve signed up for Six Flag’s Read to Succeed program.
this program encourages kindergarden through sixth grade students
to read for fun.
there is a school program and a homeschool program.

in the homeschool program,
just 6 hours of logged recreational (non-homeschool related) reading
— newspapers, comic books, novels, and/or nonfiction —
gets the child(ren) and one parent
a free ticket to their local Six Flags.
almost-readers and beginning readers can have books read to them.
it should be pretty easy to get 6 hours of reading in by the March 1, 2013 deadline.
expect to get your ticket in May,
just in time for summer season.

if you’ve got a Six Flags near you
and a K – 6 child in your home,
sign up here: sixflags.com/read
we may see you at the park
and we’ll share a wink
because we got in the easy way.

autumn at jug bay: no child left inside

the Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary is a place that warrants a visit with every season.
this fall we compared and contrasted forest and wetland ecosystems.
we captured, examined and gently released several specimen like
spiders, slugs, worms and centipedes.
we marveled at all the types of fungi.
we halted ourselves just in time from squeezing berry-like insect galls
which held hundreds of baby arachnids.
we were fascinated by wooly aphids.

centipedes can give a serious bite.
don’t squeeze this berry, because it’s not a berry. hundreds of baby spiders wait inside.
beautiful natural patterns of wood burls.
funnel mushrooms look like nature’s pottery.
our most astonishing find of the day was a cross between cotton balls and snowflakes: wooly aphids.
once fungus forms at the foot of a tree, you can be certain that the tree is at the end of its lifecycle. what a beautiful way to end.
can you spot the snake?
leaf memory game
with claws like an osprey you’ll rarely miss your catch.
if you had teeth like a beaver, you’d want to grind them down on a tree too.

a walk in the woods is always a source of wonderment.
but a walk in the woods with other curious friends
and our ebullient and sage guide, Jen,
was a phenomenal way to begin the fall
and appreciate the gifts each season.

september at the navy museum: geodesic domes

the Home School at the Museum program
at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy
just gets better every year.
people have been catching on
because now there is a waitlist!

this is a catch-up post from last september:
the girls learned about the structure and strength of geodesic domes
and channelled Buckminster Fuller as they built their own.
the little ones used toothpicks and gumdrops
while the big ones used straws and pipe cleaners.

finishing up final calculations with MaMaMa