FrogIn class today, Megan learned about frogs and toads.  This HUGE bull frog was one of the critters that she got to meet.  She was not too fond of it out of it’s container and would not pet it when Mr. Courtney brought it around.  She did enjoy admiring it behind it’s plastic aquarium though.

First Hummingbird

HummingbirdAfter watching this hummingbird preen itself and attack a brown leaf, it finally decided it wanted to eat.

The hummingbirds have not been here long, we noticed the first one on Monday morning.  A little while later another one came by and they fought over the feeder.  We have not seen any females yet.  So now we can start one of our favorite lazy summer activities.  Sitting around and seeing who can get good pictures of hummingbirds!


BirdThis morning, I watched as a bird crashed into our window and fell straight down.  I went to check on it and it did not look very healthy.  I knew that bird sometimes knock themselves silly and I hoped that is what this adolescent robin had done.

I checked it a few minutes later and it’s head was up looking around.  After fluttering to a higher spot nearby, the robin stayed put for a few minutes and was not scared of me even when I got really close.

Bird Posing



BluebirdToday was sunny and beautiful out, so we played hooky from bookwork and went to the park. We wanted to walk but also to play with the 300mm lens Daddy let me borrow.

Our walk was nice.  We heard a lot of birds hiding.  The kids looked in bluebird houses and discovered some eggs.  We also had fun watching the swallows flying around.  I did not see many bluebirds, but one did pose a few seconds for me.


Eastern Box Turtle Visitor

Friday Andrea was playing in the back yard and ran inside yelling that she saw a turtle.  She had noticed that we had an Eastern Box Turtle for a visitor.  We had not seen one in our yard since Mark and Andrea were very little!

We wanted Allan to see him, so we placed him in a safe spot for an hour. Then we returned him to the back yard where he could find food and be safe.  Every so often, someone would run between the rain drops and look for him. He stayed in the back all afternoon and evening.

On Saturday, Audrey ran out looking for him and he was gone. She was disappointed, but we keep watching for our visitor to return.

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Maple Syrup Update

bucketsIt has been a crazy year for syrup.  We started tapping in January, but then the weather turned very cold and we did not get any sap for a few weeks.  It warmed up and we brought in a few gallons of sap before the weather froze up again!  We still have buckets out, but we have not had enough cold nights and warm days to collect sap.

We are often asked how much sap is needed to make syrup.  We usually boil down around 35 gallons of sap for each gallon of syrup.  The kids check the trees most days to make sure the buckets do not have mold.  They empty the sap collected to store in the shade so it does not spoil.  Once we collect enough sap, we do most of the boiling down outside.

PancakeEven with the crazy weather, we were able to can 6 1/2 pints of syrup.  We are hoping for more, because that won’t last very long.  But we are all thankful for what we were able to get.