My backyard just has
weeds grass. Today during a frenzy of weed pulling, I discovered this caterpillar.
The kids crowded around trying to see it. Pumpkin loved it although many times she narrowly missed stepping on it. Honey, my bug gal, wanted to pick it up but I stopped her. Pumpkin calls it a "a-da-da"--it's awfully cute to hear.
If anyone can figure out what this is, please tell me. I've searched and haven't found it yet. I need a better field guide.
ETA: It's a black swallowtail. I wonder if I could find it tomorrow and put it in a container of sorts.
Spring is here. Our grass is turning green (along with a proliferation of weeds). Our
twig tree is starting to bloom. My allergies are kicking in. Aaah, my favorite season. Really, despite my allergies, I love spring. Everything starts to get so much color. The flowers start to bloom, the wildflowers spring up (no pun intended) and my favorite--the bluebonnets start to line the sides of roads. Now, if I can get to a field before other people have tromped all over the flowers.
This is the only tree we have in either our front or back yard.
A closeup of the blooms. Now, the blooms have fallen away and the leaves are covering the tree.
This is a bush that was planted in a little area near the front porch. I still need to research what is really is. If anyone reading this knows, please tell me. I'd like to be able to keep it. I was so surprised to see flowers in one of our favorite colors.
Along with everything else that spring brings, we have thunderstorms. We are at the bottom edge of tornado alley. I've already discussed our escape route in the event of a tornado with the children. The following pictures are of a hail storm we had last week. The kids had a great time.
I was very happy that the hail was not bigger--I don't house my car in the garage and have a sunroof. Not a good combo.
The girls were throwing the hail into a little puddle that was forming from the rain falling from the roof. It made them laugh uproariously because the hail was "dancing".
This was the biggest size of the hail. I didn't get a picture of the boy as he left the fun when he was told not to wander off the porch and into the hail.
I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into our spring weather. I love everything about spring. We'll be going strawberry picking sometime soon and the bluebonnets will be out too. As always, I'll post pictures.
Friday morning dawned cold and cloudy. Not what I wanted for our Vanishing River Cruise. I assumed that we would be out in the open the entire time. Luckily, I was wrong on many counts.
I bundled the kids up as well as I could.
The girls were bundled in parkas we had from previous assignments in colder places, but poor Brother had to make do with what we had in layers.
We spent much of our time downstairs, but we did venture up occasionally. Unfortunately, I don't have a very good zoom lens for my camera (it's on my wishlist along with a good macro lens) so the pictures are not great. And, the pictures are a bit cloudy because of the windows. Anyway, we still did get to see the many and varied birds on this lake and I was not too stressed about the children either falling down the stairs or into the water.
These trees contain nests for the Great Blue Heron. These birds were everywhere. Here's one in flight.
That tiny white dot in the middle of the water is a pelican. I thought it was pretty cool to see.
The highlight of the ride was seeing the eagles. Now, I did not get a shot at all of the eagles. These eagles were only about 2 years old based on their size and color. The tour guide said that the eagle's heads don't turn white until they are older so it was easy to see that these particular eagles were adolescents. It was fascinating. Now, you may wonder why the eagles were in Texas. Well, apparently, they travel to our region when the rivers up north freeze. Apparently, these particular eagles were not informed about the bitter cold this week.
And, here we are on the top deck. We only stayed up here for a few minutes. The stress was too much. Pumpkin wanted to climb all the chairs and Honey wanted to watch the water from the top of the stairs. Brother wanted to sit up on the storage lockers near the railing. Sister was fine, but I didn't want to leave her there by herself.
We had a lot of fun. I wish I could've taken some better pictures. The birds were fantastic to watch.
Well, this is more like my nature study, but I went out this morning and took these pictures. The weather has been cold. I mean, we had 70 degree weather on Friday and now, look:
Here's my last one. Ice in my grass. We had quite a bit of rain last night and some of it froze. By the afternoon, the ice pretty much melted in most spots except where it's really shady. We're expected to have more rain and colder overnight temperatures. I'm loving it. I feel like we're back in Liberty, Missouri.
While driving to ballet this morning, I noticed this bug on the hood of the car.
It clung to the hood for miles. I was driving at a little over 70 mph (okay, so I speed a little) and it clung to the hood the whole time. It was amazing. Then after about an hour we were off the highway and drove slower with stops at stoplights. That's when it started to climb up the windshield.
Look how much it looks like a leaf.
I wanted to get a closer picture once we arrived at ballet, but it flew away while I was parking the car.
Editing to add: My windshield is really dirty. My car sure needs a bath.
I'm awful about nature study. I
hate dislike the outdoors. I don't like to get hot and sticky and I don't like to be cold. So, do I keep the kids indoors? Not exactly. This past year we spent a great deal of time indoors except for trips to the park on Fridays after mass. Our street was not conducive to outdoor play either. There were no sidewalks where we lived, we lived on the bottom part of an incline, and it was a busy street. With Brother's impulsivity problem, it was too difficult to be out there. So, we spent most of our time indoors. Then we moved to my parents' house. A bit better, but still no sidewalks. And, it has been about 100 degrees every day.
Two days ago, it rained.
Now, in many places, this might not be a significant event, but it had been weeks since the last rainfall. We're hurting here for rain. It only lasted for about an hour, but it was so nice. There was thunder and lightening. It was great. Then yesterday morning, it rained again. This time for about 4 hours. Apparently, this rainfall was part of a cooling front that came through here. This morning, it was 75 degrees. I don't think we've felt 75 degrees at 9 am in the morning in forever. Even Sister commented, "Mommy, the weather is SO nice!" It was. So, when we returned from therapy, we ditched our plans for school after lunch and went outside to play. The kids rode their bikes, Brother rode his scooter, Pumpkin even tried to get on a tricycle. All in all, a good afternoon. We even did some nature study.
This is the mistletoe we discovered growing on the elm trees.
This is the hole where we found the snails. I don't think they were too happy to be picked up and well, neither was I, but I'm determined to do this nature study. I know the kids will enjoy it. Honey was absolutely captivated by the snails. She was not at all apprehensive about touching these things. Sister was a bit more cautious. Brother wanted to dig around for some more. Pumpkin was exploring the backyard and getting dirty.
Our last lesson was in remembering to avoid those mosquitos. We were all bitten in many places. Sister had the most. It will be an itchy week for us.
I should've sat the kids down later to do some pictures of what they saw today, but I think we'll just take baby steps.