Keweenaw Vacation

My dad has been wanting us to go on vacation with him for awhile. He spent a lot of time in the Keweenaw in Upper Michigan growing up and he wanted to show it to us. I had been there a few times when I was younger, but this is the first time that Allan and the kids had been there.

It was a great vacation with my parents! I saw a few places that I remembered, a few places that I remember hearing about and many places that I would love to visit again.

I look forward to sharing some of our pictures and memories!



Audrey raised Monarch Butterflies by herself this year. She had help looking for the eggs and caterpillars, but she fed them and cleaned them by herself, with a little help from Andrea.

It was a rough year for her. She had trouble finding the babies and she lost a higher ratio of them then normal.  Considering one in ten survive in the wild, her losing 5 or 6 out of 25 or 30 is not so bad. She had a hard time losing them. She was glad none of the chrysalises fell this year. She did have one die in the process of forming his chrysalis and another die right after forming his.

When this caterpillar was roaming for a place to form his chrysalis, Audrey needed to clean the cage. While the screen was open, he escaped from his babysitter (me).  I did not notice he was gone.  Audrey came up to me laughing and told me we had an escapee–and he already finished his web.  We let him form his chrysalis on the bottom of the cage and then propped the cage up so he could emerge.

Lake Ann

We were able to spend the last week with friends at Lake Ann camp near Traverse City, Michigan.  It was a lot of fun!

Mark and Andrea spent the week as campers and did many new things.  Megan, Audrey and Adrian got to spend time playing in water, riding bikes and being outside most of the day.  We also got to participate with Uncle Dave’s Jump Start camp this week.  Adrian rode the bus for the first time and discovered what sand dunes are.

If you want to see the kids running down sand dunes, or other pictures from our trip, you can find them here.

Dreaming of Gardens

Daddy introduced me to the poet Edgar Guest a few years ago. Here is part of his poem, Plant a Garden.

If it’s drama that you sigh for,
plant a garden and you’ll get it
You will know the thrill of battle
fighting foes that will beset it
If you long for entertainment and
for pageantry most glowing,
Plant a garden and this summer spend
your time with green things growing.

Our garden is much to wet to do anything  yet. But the spring flowers are beautiful and it is time to start planning our garden!


Spring Flowers

We are reading a book called Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen. It is a good book! There is a lot in the book about making maple syrup (the reason we started reading it), spring flowers and growing through hard times.

We have been on a mission to find as many spring flowers that the book mentions as we can. We found Spring Beauties and Bloodroot. We are still looking for Hepatica, Trilliums, Solomon’s Seal, Jack in the Pulpits, Twisted stalk, Buttercups, Marsh Marigolds and Violets. I am not sure that they all grow around here, but we are looking.

We are learning a lot of fun names for flowers.

  • A Trout lily can be white and then is called a Dogtooth violet, it is also called an Adder’s Tongue.
  • Bloodroots might be called “Easter Candles”.
  • Hepaticas come in different colors and can be called “liverwort”, “herb-trinity”, “squirrel cup” or “mouse-ear”.
  • The first trilliums are deep red and some call them “wake-robin”.
  • Bleeding Heart can be called Squirrel Corn and can be mistaken for Dutchman’s Breeches
  • Marsh marigolds are also called cowslips, “meadow boots” “crazy boots” and capers.

I would love to be able to make our own pressed flower books, but some of these flowers are found at the park. I am not sure how they would press either. It would be neat to have a book that shows what we find, where discovered and what they look like. I need to think more on how to do that. 🙂 I need to do it soon, spring flowers do not last long!

Wood Anemone (I think)
Dutchman's Breeches
Closed Trout lily or Adder’ Tongue

Distracted By Birds

Today, Adrian had a Nature Nuts class.  I took the older kids along too.  I thought they would want to play outside while Adrian had class.  I should not have been surprised when they wanted to listen to the story and see what Miss Krista had to teach.

We learned about nests and eggs.  After seeing some different bird eggs in a box, Miss Krista took us for a walk to see Bluebird eggs.

I am so glad that you are never to old to learn! I know what Swallows look like.  But for some reason, I thought Tree Swallows were Bluebirds! I never could figure out why they could look so different in the winter.  Feel pretty silly at this little “a ha! Dummy me” moment 🙂 But, in my defense, I do not remember ever seeing Bluebirds near their nests.

So, here are pictures of real Bluebirds and their eggs on the left.  On the right are Tree Swallows, who often use Bluebird boxes for their nests too.