A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world.
Agatha Christie (1890-1976)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Handbook of Nature Study

I have decided we are going to spend more time outside this year in the fall and even winter months. We are going to use Barbs Nature study resource agian. I was going to start where we left off, but decided to start at the begining.

The main resource will be The Hanbook of Nature Study by Anna Comstock. Its such a wounderful resource. A few others we will use for wildlife helps will be a book called Living With Wildlife in the Pacific Northwest. Its by Russell Link. I found it at Costco not to long ago. We also have an array of field guides to use.

I want to spend a little time outside every day and maybe going out everyother week for a long adventure. We have so many trails and resources here where welive. I want to tap into that better this year.

To find out more about the Handbook of Nature Study and resources to aid you in using it, please go on over to Barbs blog. Handbook of Nature Study. You wont be dissapointed!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lurking in the grass~

Thamnophis sirtalis

Click below for some fast facts
The Common Garter Snake

This little guy was found while my husband was mowing the lawn.
He was slithering right next to a little creek bed. Looking for treats I'm sure.
No, RyLee was not allowed to keep him *Ü* Just in case you wondered... we let him go.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What kind of bird am I?

We have our hunches... what do you think??
More photos and observations to come!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Green Hour Challenge #34

My girls and I love this tree! In fact, we have been patiently waiting for fall to come ( we wanted a longer summer though, thank you very much) so we could take these pictures. We noticed it last year, and agreed to begin photographing it this fall and take them each season. So here are 2 of our favorite shots we got the other morning.... frost on the ground and all.

Its truly a massive tree... I wish one of the kids could stand under it and see a comparison.....but its not our tree or property.... I stood in the driveway of these peoples home... *Ü* If it wasn't so early when we took these, I would have asked the folks if we could get closer... maybe next time.

bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum)

Size: Grows to 100' tall and 4' in diameter.

Leaves: Simple, opposite, and deciduous. Very large. Palmately lobed (5 lobes) with the central lobe having a distinct "waist." Long leaf stalk with milky sap.

Fruit: Double samaras in long clusters; samaras joined at right angles; hairy seeds.

Twigs: Buds and branchlets are opposite.

Bark: Grayish or reddish-brown; interlacing ridges and furrows.

Distribution: Bigleaf maple grows on the west side of the Cascades and Sierras from British Columbia through most of California. It prefers moist, well-drained soils

Want to visit more blogs on this topic... join the rest who participated in this challenge at Hanbook of Nature study

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mario? Amanita muscaria??

Name: Amanita muscaria

Common name: Fly Agaric ("It is called the mushroom of flies, because crushed in milk it kills flies")

Habitat: Pine forest

Known for: Classical Fairy tale fungus. In some parts of the world this species is eaten because it can induce hallucinations and or also contains a number of toxins that can be fatal if present in sufficient quantity.

We live about 1 mile from any main road, and as we were driving out one day last month, we spotted these little guys! They look like they are right out of a Mario brothers Nintendo game don't they??

After we returned home, Christian and I drove back and took these photos. They were pretty cool looking. We also noticed a week later, just a little further down.... new ones were growing, but they were flat on top, not curved yet like these here. Sorry we didn't take a picture if that.

Here is some information I read about this strange mushroom.... strange indeed....

The ancient Shamanic use of Amanita muscaria in Siberia is well documented.

Despite Governmental Oppression (of its use) there are still many who refuse to accept the Authorized State Religion, and continue the Shamanic traditions in secret. Santa Claus arrives on the roof and enters through the chimney. The Siberian Shaman (commonly dressing in red and white) would enter through the opening in the roof of a home where a ritual was to be done. Santa Claus (on the Holy Day) brings presents in his bag. The Shamen gather the mushrooms in bags which they would bring with them when performing a ceremony. The Santa Claus we see today evolved from traditions developed in Germany. The Weihnachtsmann (St. Nick) was an amalgamation of older Germanic/Norse gods such as Thor, Donner, Odin and Wotan.

This knowledge is fairly common. What is missing here is that Santa flies the skies in his sleigh, Odin (as well as the rest) rode through the sky in his chariot which is depicted in the stars by "The Big Dipper". The Big Dipper is the chariot of Odin and Wotan, And Thor, and King Arthur, and even Osiris (Egypt). The chariot that circles the North Star in a 24 hour period is thus also known as the sleigh of Santa Claus, which circles the mythological home of Santa (the North Pole). These Nordic/Germanic Gods are tied to Mushrooms in their mythology. Thor throws his hammer (which is shaped as a mushroom) to the ground and with a mighty Thunderous lightning crack it appears. Odin rides the sky in his chariot pulled by horses which are exerting such an effort that their spit mingled with blood falls to the ground and the places where it hits mushrooms (Amanitas particularly) grow.

The Osiris mythology has even more to add to this. First off to the Egyptian's South was up (north). Osiris was the lord of the underworld (south) which is why he circles the sky in the furthest possible under (south) area. Not only did Osiris ride the sky in a chariot, but after his death Isis found that an evergreen (Cedar) had grown full sized from a dead stump overnight (this also relates to the Djed pillar) this was understood as a sign of Osiris' rebirth and immortality. The birth of Osiris is interestingly the 25th of December (traditional). The 25th of December was also celebrated annually by putting presents around the Cedar tree. This tradition is at lease five thousand years old. The birth of Horus to the goddess virgin mother Isis is perhaps the eldest representation of the goddess/son mythology, yet it is impossible to know the true date of this or how old the Astro-theological Virgo giving birth to the child/god/star mythology is. However it is the oldest source I have found. And very old it is.

The Mushrooms are typically dried (a necessary procedure) by stringing them up (like popcorn) and hanging them above the hearth of the fireplace. Shamen, and Lay people alike, would gather and dry them. They are a valuable commodity. Reindeer (native to Siberia) eat these mushrooms. The Mythology of Reindeer taking flight reflects the supposed effects they get after such a meal.

~~~~James Arthur

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Inch worm! So cute!

They are so tiny and cute! This little one below actually came down out of a tree while Dan and I were sitting in our van. We were finishing a conversation before we got out and I saw this tiny little green thing slowly come down on the hood of my van... well.. I just had to take a picture. Dans finger is in the last photo.

This was at our camp site while in West Port Washington not to long ago.

Inchworms are the caterpillars of geometer moths.

Remember the inch worm toy you could ride on??

Boy did I just dated myself. *Ü*

I had to add this! 8-9-2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

Look what we saw!

We went on a spur of the moment camping/surfing trip a few weekends ago... well I think its been a few weekends now...*Ü*

On our first visit to the beach, Christian took these great pictures of the local pelicans! Now its hard to tell in the picture itself, but we think these few are brown pelicans Pelecanus occidentalis . The first one, or the one in front is an immature brown pelican and I do believe the 2 in the back are adults. The link I left was where I am guessing form *Ü* They are funny looking birds... and a dozen or so were flying around at the time the picture was taken. Enjoy the pictures.

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