Monday, September 29, 2008

School Field Trip.

Sequoia's class took a field trip to Rock Castle Gorge to study habitats.

We followed a trail along the Rock Castle creek and met with two forest rangers who talked about the area, and what is needed in an animals habitat and what we might expect to find there.

The class split into two groups to investigate the different area. The first group explored the creek, while the second group explored the forest. The kids had a blast flipping over logs and lifting up rocks looking for critters, or other items that might be part of the animals habitat.

Before the groups switched, they discussed what kinds of cool things they found. The kids were all eager to share what sort of critters they found. Sequoia found a salamander, a centipede and a wolf spider.

Sequoia raising his hand to ask a question. That's my boy!

Sequoia flipping rocks in the creek, looking for crawdads and salamanders. Not sure why the picture blurred the way it did, but i like it. :)

This was our first time at Rock Castle, although it isn't that far from us. The trail was really beautiful, and had places for camping. i look forward to coming back to it with the whole family.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Build and Grow.

Twice a month Lowes offers a free building project for kids. The program is on Saturdays from 10am -11am and is called Build and Grow Workshops. We have been attending for a few months now, although we don't go for every project. They have had some really neat ones. Sequoia has made a 'watch it grow' flower box, an ant farm, a memory box and more. His last project was a fire engine. Kids get a free Lowes apron, and then after each completed project they get a special patch to go on the apron, and a certificate of completion. It's a great activity for a bit of one on one time, and Sequoia is always extremely proud of the project he has built.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Easter eggs in September!

We finally got our first green egg!

We purchased two Araucanas pullets back in April, and have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of blue green eggs. :) Araucanas (Americanas), also sometimes just known as Easter egg chickens naturally lay blue and green eggs.

Sage holding Weepie.

Sequoia named them Weepie and Peepie, because of the constant weeping and peeping sound they make. This is Peepie. They have quickly become our favorites. They are a bit unusal looking, with soft fluffy feathers, blue feet, tufted rumps and beards. They are very gentle and tolerate the kids carrying them everywhere. The blue green eggs is a bonus.

Monday, September 22, 2008

We love to paint.

Who needs a paintbrush?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

County Fair.

This weekend, we decided to check out the local county fair. If you can believe it, we have lived here for 8 years, and never attended the local fair. So this year, after looking over the schedule in the paper, we decided to go. i had seen that they were having a goat show Friday night at 7pm, we considered going but it seemed kind of late and we decided to instead go Sat. so we had time to enjoy all of the fair. Surely the goats would be be there for the entire fair, right?

Well, here he is. This was the one and only goat.

Don't get me wrong... i expected the fair to be small, but i think maybe i expected it to be a bit more country. i expected more animals, and more animal related activities. Where was the pig racing? The cow milking demonstrations? The sheep shearing? The animals at the fair consisted of 1 horse, 1 donkey, 1 mule, 1 cow, 1 goat, 1 llama, 3 alpaca and 4 chickens. Yep, that was all.

They had 5 little rides total. Although Sequoia was only big enough for 4, and Sage wasn't big enough for any of them. Although she did get to pedal around on these mini tractors.

Little country girl.

Sage was pretty happy when Daddy won her a sponge bob playing carnival games. She calls him Bob-bob paa-pants. :) They had four games in all and three food vendors. The Salsa festival, which was the high light of Saturday, consisted of one 10x10 booth, with an 8 foot table. The only people sitting there were the two folks working the festival. :)

The kids loved the animals, and although there wasn't a whole lot of anything at the fair, there was still a whole lot of smiles. The kids had a blast, and Kenan and i were pretty amused by how little was actually there.

As we were leaving the fair, we stopped to pet the animals one last time. Two older women walked up next to us, and one said to the other, " This sure is a mighty fine fair". :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Beaver Dam.

Sequoia and i went for a hike when he got home from school today. Kenan was inside doing website work, and Sage was napping...and the day was just too nice to sit inside.
So we headed down to the creek. We have not been down in a while to play, and in our absence the beavers decided to move in.

The area where the creek is dammed created a really nice reflecting pool. The water is up higher than i have ever seen it. The day was beautiful, blue skies with fluffy white clouds. There was just a hint of Autumn in the air. We sat watching the water and soaking in the warmth of the sun.

The beaver dam.

The beavers have really been busy with this dam. Below it the creek is only a few inches deep and very clear. If we were to get a good rain this entire area would probably flood.

They have started trying to take down some of the big trees. Several trees along the bank look similar to this one. We really don't want to lose our trees. We will have to take apart the dam, and encourage the beaver to move on farther down the creek.

We continued on our hike, following this little run that comes out at the back of our property. i was a bit sad to see it completely dry. This area has been in a drought for a long time, and springs and wells all over our area are drying up. Finding the streams dry is not a good sign for us.

We found this little salamander hiding under a rock, we saw a hornet's nest built into the side of a mud bank and the skull of a opossum or possibly a raccoon. We saw wild flowers blooming, wild apples and crazy neon fungi coming up everywhere.
We had a great hike together and found lots of interesting things and stories to share.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Evening walk and apple foraging.

When the weather is nice in the evenings we often go for hikes/walks after dinner. In the spring/summer we go foraging for huckleberries and blackberries. In late summer and fall, we look for monarch eggs and caterpillars so that we can raise them inside and watch the transformation. Once a month or so we walk along the road and pick up garbage and recycle. This week we went on our recycle walk, and also went out foraging for wild apples.

When we mentioned walking up the hill to look for apples, Sequoia reminded us we needed to take bags for recycle and trash as well. He is very enthusiastic about helping to clean up the world, not wanting to leave anything a behind.

Near the top of the hill, we found three wild apple trees. They are green/yellow and some have red stripes. No idea what kind they are but they are crisp and tart and perfect for apple sauce, baking and just munching!

One of the trees had really nice big apples, and the best part...totally organic, totally wild and free to pick as many as we can use. i am always amazed how much is provided when the land is still wild. Every year, we find new treasures in the yard, or in the woods. Every day i continue to feel more and more blessed to live in a such a place.

Sagie loving the fresh apples, and looking cute.

Monday, September 8, 2008


This evening Kenan went to move a cardboard box that was sitting behind the house. He was quite surprised when this huge black rat snake fell out of it. This gal was about 4-5 foot long, and not very happy to be disturbed.

Kenan yelled for us to grab the camera. So we all had to come to check it out. Sage really wanted to 'pet snake' but we talked her out of it. We tried to gently encourage the snake to move on her way, but she reared up and looked very threatening.

i snapped a few good pictures of her before she slithered back down the hill. i think this is the same snake that suns herself on top of the woodpile each spring.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Look who came to dinner!

This evening we had an unexpected guest appear on the deck just as we were finishing up dinner. This fat little garter snake had quite obviously just enjoyed a meal of it's own. When he saw us, he startled and attempted to squeeze through the spaces in the deck to escape. However his belly was just too fat. :) He went from space to space...slipping head first into the crack only to find himself stuck.

We all found it very amusing, as the poor snake tried desperately to squeeze through the space. He eventually gave up and disappeared into the grass. It was simple entertainment for the evening, way better than anything you'll find on television. :)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Pirates, AAARRrrrrr!!

Yesterday Kenan went to town to pick up a few things. He had stopped at the store to find all the summer toys and inflatable pools on major clearance.

Sequoia had been eyeing this pirate ship since last year, but the price was way too expensive. Kenan picked it up at 75% off the already reduced clearance price.

This was a major score, a total price of $ tax. :)

My little buccaneers waiting for the ship to be inflated.

Fun without the water too.

Sage at the helm. Sequoia looking a bit like a drunken sailer.

Launching the cannons! Sage trying to bounce out of the boat!


My little daredevil, jumping headfirst down the slide and yelling Wwwweeeeeeee!!!!!

It came with an inflatable treasure chest to store the shields, swords and cannon balls. You can hook it up to a hose, and two of the cannons spray water. The kids are having a blast with it. Besides the obvious climbing, jumping, swimming fun...there is lots of imaginative play going on.

Now weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen! All ye scallywags!