This has been a tough year for getting pictures of my favorite spring flowers.  The weather is most of the culprit!  We have been to the park twice looking for Hepatica (also called liverleaf or liverwort).  Today we found a lot, but the wind was so strong taking pictures was very difficult.  It is supposed to snow tonight and tomorrow, so I am not sure if will have the chance to try for more pictures.

It is That Time of Year Again!

The set up is very similar, but the helpers are different!

I discovered the following picture from 2011 of when the kids were interviewed because we boiled maple sap at home. This was one of the first years that Mark was responsible for most of the process.

We usually get enough syrup to last us a year, though sometimes it was because a friend offered us what he did not need. Sometimes, we had enough to share.

I can’t remember when we started, but the first year’s syrup was so poorly done. We thought we followed directions and we were so proud of it, but it was very weak!

Or the time we tried boiling the sap in the house because the weather was awful and we were afraid the sap would go bad. We had so much humidity in the house we had to open all the windows and it was still humid.

We often sat and read by the fire and the smell of the syrup boiling because the weather was beautiful and we wanted to be outside. We grilled our dinner on the grates sometimes just for fun.

The syrup was ruined a few times because we got busy and over boiled it. Or we spilled the almost finished sap while pouring it into a new container.

Most of the children learned to chop wood to keep the fire going, and they all learned how to start fires in the cold and keep them going all day.

Such wonderful memories!

Frozen Bubbles Take 3

“Sea Shell”

Last night I took a little break and played with bubbles again. So far, these are my favorite.

Which one is your favorite? If you click on a picture, it will show the bubble without the title.

Frozen Bubbles

Frozen bubbles are always a challenge that I enjoy. I am never perfectly happy with the ones I take though.

The other day a photographer friend of mine posted some wonderful frozen bubble pictures. I asked him if he would please share his secret 🙂 He was very sweet and shared this with me.

Sugar in the solution helps a lot with the crystallization of the bubbles. He also mentioned to be sure that the sun is at a 45 degree angle from the bubbles and use a macro lens if possible. A simple background is best, a major challenge here! And then there are some common sense “rules”. A still day with single digit temperature works best, though low teens may work also. Dress warmly!

I am so excited, these work so much better than what I was doing! I am looking forward to many more attempts 🙂

If you want to try the recipe, here it is!

1/2 c warm water (distilled is recommended, but I used tap)
1 Tbl vegetable glycerin or corn syrup
1 Tbl sugar
1 Tbl dish soap; Dawn original is recommended, but most will work

  1. Combine water with sugar and glycerin.
  2. Stir well to dissolve sugar.
  3. Add dish soap and stir gently.
  4. Let sit at least 30 minutes before using.
  5. Store in airtight container

I do not know if these would work for giant bubbles, but the recipe for those are here if you want to try.