what we’ve been doing outside



“I’m sure I shall always feel like a child again in the woods.”  L.M. Montgomery

Isn’t this a really cool picture?  David, my 12 year old, caught a couple of these frogs so far this spring and both times brought it to the house to show me and wonder what it was.  I said, “Take a picture of it and we’ll research”.  Turns out it’s a spring peeper.  He catches them down by the stream.  He put it in a glass to take the picture…


Seth was using his Dad’s golf club which was way too big for him.  He and the boys really enjoy hitting golf balls lately.  I found a shopping bag (yellow in the pic) of balls at a tag sale, used, for only one dollar!


Oh Sarah.  She’s just thrilled to “take a bath” in the pond, which is what she calls “swimming”.  She’s a little more brave this year and will walk out to her waist in water.  She is still bragging that she knows how to float (with a life jacket, mind you).


Do you remember that I got 30 new baby chicks almost 2 weeks ago?  One of them started ailing and unfortunately died the other day, which was so sad, but the remaining 29 are growing so fast…eating and drinking like little machines.


One day Sarah played on a rock while I read a book.  She loves making up little games and stories with her plastic animals.


I found a profusion of tiny fragrant white violets down in the yard by the stream.  There are hundreds of them.


One evening last week, I went for a walk with Grace, Dave, and Seth.  We went to a part of the stream that spreads out more like a very small shallow pond.  David had fun walking around in the water catching toads.


The sun was going down, and I think the way the sunshine is glowing behind the trees is so beautiful.  We had such a nice time on our walk, enjoying everything we saw.  We even got to eat some wild onion stalks that I found.


Grace with the hems of her jeans wet from wading.  As soon as she got home she found tweezers and worked on getting slivers from the soles of her feet, which are tender from winter.


There is an old beaver lodge there and we noticed that it was covered with downy feathers.  I wondered if something had caught a bird and ate it.  But then, we saw that there was an egg about 8 feet away, along with the remains of two other eggs, just the shells cleaned completely out.  Perhaps licked?


David was thrilled with the egg.  He picked it up and said, “Grace!  I have a baby!”

We carried it home and found out it was a wild Canadian Goose egg.  Their nest must have been vandalized by predator.  Since Canadian Geese are as common as the cold, we felt bad, but not too bad, about the loss of their descendants.  David blew the egg out and carried it to school the next day in a shoebox to show his Science teacher.


Marsh Marigold:  Cowslip  Caltha palustris

“The flowers of this showy spring plant resemble those of large buttercups rather than true marigolds, of the aster family.  The leaves are sometimes used a potherbs but require several short boilings with changes of water between; they should not be eaten raw.”  ~ National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers


Bluets carpeting the lawn next to the pond.

My son’s girlfriend Emily babysat David, Caleb, Seth, and Sarah for us on Monday while we went to Grace’s Spring Music Concert.  Later on that night after everyone was home again, she texted me these pictures from a walk they went on.


Pretending to be Knights, and a Princess



“….be still and listen….the earth is singing….”




“And at the end of the day your feet should be dirty, your hair messy, and your eyes sparkling.”  ~Shanti





9 thoughts on “what we’ve been doing outside

  1. The violets are so lovely. I missed the bulk of them when I was laid up with the flu, but I did manage to collect a few this year. I even found some in a new place! Hopefully Sarah won’t get the idea to try floating without her vest any time soon! She’s brave, but with her big brothers as examples, I guess it isn’t surprising. Sorry you lost a chick, but great the others are doing well.

  2. I love this post! The pictures are beautiful and each snippet of detail you wrote about the pictures is so interesting. I just moved my blog to blogger and my daughter had it professionally designed for me as a mother’s day gift. I’m so excited about it! My love for blogging is renewed. Please go check it out, Shanda. I would love to make blogging the thing I do most on the internet and if you could give me a follow, I would so appreciate it. I added you to my reader so I won’t miss your posts. This is where you can find me: http://nurturingtheheart.blogspot.com

    Blessings to you!

  3. oh, each season is a treasure. What beauty you have. So happy you all enjoy it. I imagine that water is so cold, can’t imagine Sarah wanting to go in.

  4. Oh, what a beautiful collection of nature and family photographs, Shanda. How wonderful that you and your children are able to have this wonderful outdoor time. I wondered how you managed to take that frog picture! It was a puzzle to me. At first I thought the frog was on a stone and the water splashed away somehow but it looks like a star. Then you satisfied my curiosity. I’s never thought of photographing one inside a glass before. Clever shot. The flowers are delightful. What a blessing to be able to enjoy the natural world in this way. I loved the quote too. Thanks for sharing these special moments. I’m sure I would enjoy walks with you! 🙂

  5. Pingback: home routine and nature sightings – Good to be Home

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