Thursday, 10 May 2012

Nesting Mode

This year in particular, I'm noticing the intense activity of our backyard feathered friends.  Each morning, the airwaves are filled a symphony of cheerful chirps and calls. As our family observes birds of all kinds gathering dried grasses and twigs, it's pretty obvious that nesting season has arrived.  The boys have been keen observers, providing me with regular updates on their robin, starling and goldfinch sightings.

I thought it might be fun to get Chi-Chi and Muffy involved in a little nesting of their own.  We pretended we were birds and ventured out to gather all the necessary supplies to construct a proper nest.  In no time, we had a hefty pile of grass, twigs, moss and dandelion "fluff".  I pulled out a package of recycled clay I picked up at the Wolfville Farmer's Market some time ago, and we all set to work.  It didn't take long to realize that building a nest is both an art and science!  I think it it gave us all an appreciation for the skill and detailed work involved in nest building.  It's pretty amazing to think those tiny creatures make such beautiful creations.

We were happy with our little nests.  They make a nice addition to our spring nature table, and will like last for years to come if handled carefully.

What spring-inspired crafts are keeping your little ones busy these days?

Friday, 4 May 2012

Out With The Old, In With The New!

After making his rounds to most of the Primary and Grade 1 classes in our school, our dear friend the giant water bug (aka water scorpion) is stepping out of the spotlight. Chi-Chi's latest scientific discovery is now taking centre stage. Much to my surprise, the boy discovered yet another monstrous aquatic bug this week - a predaceous diving beetle. Though not as large as the Uhler's water bug, he's still pretty impressive, measuring in at almost 2 inches. As you'd expect, our new friend will also be spending a few nights in our home for further observation and study. I have to admit, I think all this "bug lovin'" in the house is starting to rub off on me a bit. They truly are fascinating and interesting to observe...from a safe distance of course!  I'm not sure what the discovery from the pond will be....should I be scared?? (:
Because I can't help but find a way to sneak in a little crafting when an opportunity presents itself, I've been whipping up these journals for various uses around the home. They make great spaces for little ones to record their discoveries, while encouraging them to write. I use my sewing machine to put them together, with a simple stich down the middle. I think this finishing detail adds a nice touch, making them feel just a bit more special than if staples had been used.
I like to have a few blank ones on hand so the boys can grab them when inspiration strikes. I can't say I'm the biggest fan of Lego Ninjago in the world, but a certain boy is quite smitten with them lately. I do, however, love his homemade Ninjago book, complete with photos! He devised the story in his head and set up a series of scenes, which I photographed for him. This was a great rainy day project.

Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Creeping Me Out!

As the mother of two adventurous and outdoorsy little boys, I've grown accustomed to the non-stop parade of creatures and critters paying visits to our home. Since a very young age, Muffy in particular has been enamoured with anything that creeps and crawls. Although I don't share his deep passion for insects, I can "live with" the wide variety of pet bugs he likes to collect, adopt and study. Although I sometimes find myself creeped out, I try to push my foolish fears aside and embrace the boys' curiosity and enthusiam for nature So.....what's a mother to do when my darling sons arrive home with a GIANT mammoth of a bug that they have "fallen in love with"? The mother grins and bears it I guess, and invites the creepy critter in for a sleep over. Check out this crazy bug we scooped up with our pond nets this afternoon. With some help from Amy Lynn over at Flandrum Hill, he's been identified as an Uhler's Water Bug. I'm not sure how well I'm going to sleep tonight, knowing this guy is under my roof. He may end up in the garage when my bed time rolls around......just in case is is an escape artist! .
Onto a less frightening topic, I was finally able to get the greenhouse plastic installed on my mini-hoop tunnel this week. I spent Monday morning planting seeds and dreaming of fresh veggies. It is amazing how quickly the space heats up. Since we live in such a windy, often foggy location, this might just be the key to my success in the garden! Wish me luck!
Rain or shine these days, we've been spending so much time outside - the garden, the pond, the woods, the beach. It's obvious that both Chi-Chi and Muffy are feeling inspired by all that is going on this spring. Chi-Chi set to work building his own caddis fly case from sticks and dried grass last week. I think it gave him an appreciation for how amazing it is that an insect can fabricate something so accurate and symmetrical.