Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
I think we'll be using the homeschoolshare's Stellaluna Unit instead. We'll also be doing lots of fun math games, etc, from mathwire.
Have fun learning!
I don't think I'd ever seen a bridge "open" like this - here in the Houston area, we see some drawbridges, but not a turn style bridge.
The paddlewheel making splashes. You might see a small rainbow in the upper left of the photo.
I loved the waves that were created by the 2 red paddles.
Yes, it was COLD out on the water! Alex and I enjoyed a hot chocolate while my mil and sil had coffee.
We were by the stairs to the pilot house when the captain announced that a few people at a time could come up for a visit. So, Alex and I were the first ones inside! It was neat to have the captain explaining some of his instruments and just seeing the river from his point of view. Unfortunately, I didn't have my regular camera - just my "big" camera - so I could only get a photo of the captain's face.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
We saw quite a bit of evidence that the deer were enjoying the corn, too... including these hoof prints in the mud.
The drive was beautiful as many of the trees were showing their fall colors and we saw many corn fields. We also tried to take photos of a few hawks, but I never got a good shot. On our side trip, we made it to two of the bridges. My sil has an iPhone, so we decided to look up "why" these bridges were built and just how many bridges were built and how many still existed. (I LOVED having her iPhone and being able to look up things immediately!)
Here's what we found from this site: "Originally boasting 19 covered bridges, six remain today, all listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The bridges were covered by order of the County Board of Supervisors to help preserve the large flooring timbers, which were more expensive to replace than the lumber used to cover the bridge sides and roof. Usually, the bridges were named for the resident who lived closest."
Of the 6 remaining bridges which were all built in the late 1800's, we visited 2 of them: the Hogback Bridge and the Cedar Bridge.
These are photos of the Hogback Bridge. I found this article saying from 2003 that said "(The Hogback) bridge, with a rare Burr arch roof, burned on the one-year anniversary of an arson fire at the famed Cedar Bridge in Madison County. The Cedar Bridge was destroyed on Sept. 3, 2002." Thankfully, some passers-by put out this fire quickly, and only a 1-foot square section was burned. This bridge is only opened to pedestrians, not vehicles.
At each end of the bridge were white painted areas and, sadly, they were covered with graffiti.
My sil had the great idea to shoot this photo. I love the way it turned out. It's my favorite photo of the bridge.
These last 2 photos are of the 2nd bridge we visited, Cedar Bridge. This bridge was destroyed by arson in 2002, but this replica was built from the original plans using authentic materials and methods.
It is the only one of the 6 "remaining" bridges that you can drive your vehicle across - which we did.
We have now been gone 73 days out of the past 7 months! Whew! And, yes, there's no place like home!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Alexandra is in a homeschool book club at our local library this year. They are reading the Texas Bluebonnet nominees for 2008/2009. Then, in January, every child in Texas who has read at least 5 of these books gets to vote on them.
The first book we started (and just finished) is a LARGE book called Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. This is a wonderful story and the book itself is different than I've ever read. The book is about 550 pages long! But, there are TONS of 2-page spread pictures. In fact, sometimes you go through about 40 pages of pictures in a row! And, I just love the illustrations. I copied a few in my own book (like the one above).
We have loved learning about automata - mechanial figures like the one in the video below. I can't believe how detailed these machines from 1800's were - and there aren't any computer chips in them!
Here are some great sites you might want to visit if you read this book:
- The official site of Hugo Cabret
- Scholastic's Hugo Cabret site with great games, etc.
- Another blog, Cabinet of Wonders, with a post with quite a few videos of automaton
- And, I hope to try this out - a free, printable paper "automata" of a sheep - there are also a few others on this site
This video is of the author, Brian Selznick, and the automata that he used as inspiration for this book.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
- Ramses the Great & other Egyptian mummies
- The Ice Maiden of Peru - the Incas evidentally practiced mummification and, unfortunately, ritual sacrifices - this "ice maiden" also named Juanita, is the best preserved Incan mummy found to date
- Famous people like Vladimir Lenin, founder of the Soviet Communist Party - his body must be maintained weekly. Also, Mao Tse Tong & Eva Peron have been mummified.
- Otzi - the Ice Mummy (there's a children's book called Ice Mummy, but we haven't read it) - accidentally frozen
- Tollund Man - one of many 'bog bodies' - corpses found in a peat bog which seals out oxygen and therefore mummifies
After discussing mummies, the kids got to make an Egyptian mummy. They were to treat their corpse respectfully as the washed it, put it in natron, removed the organs, etc.
I have missed going to these classes as we always learn so much. We are signed up for a coin class in November and one about the Underground Railroad in December.
Monday, October 13, 2008
The special exhibit at the time was From George (Washington) to George (W. Bush). For each president, they had a small display and some of their "real" memorabilia. One of Alexandra's favorite parts of the museum was the dress display. I believe these were depicting the dresses the 1st ladies wore at their husband's inagurations. We went from display to display picking out our favorite dresses. Her least favorite part were the displays about war... we went through that area very quickly.
This was a large museum and I was really impressed. We will plan on coming back when Alexandra is older and we are studying this part of history.
Alexandra decided to pose with each figure... doing whatever the figure was doing. So, here are the photos! The light in the museum was horrible for photos, but Alexandra was really having fun posing. And, we even picked up another Oz book.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
"I am neither especially clever nor especially gifted. I am only very, very curious."
"Love is a better teacher than duty."
"Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school."
"Information is not knowledge."
"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education."
"Most people say that is it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character."
I found this pair of tree frogs on the outside of the nature center. Aren't they cute? And, they were so small! The larger one might have been 2 inches long. I think it's another photo that is begging for a caption, but I don't think I'll run a contest. If you'd like to leave a caption, just leave a comment!
And, a velvet ant. I've only seen a few of these in my LIFE! So, I was excited when the kids found this on the path. One of the moms told us how this is a wingless, female wasp. (The males of this species can fly!) They are known for their extremely painful sting and also go by the name "cow killer" - because the pain could "kill a cow."
Friday, October 10, 2008
This was the picture I didn't get... there were several hundred carpenter ants living in this split-open tree. It was an amazing amount of activity. But, I never got a great shot of the ants. If you enlarge this, you might see some slightly blurry ants.
This was my other favorite "find." I actually found this outside while everyone else was still in the nature center. I took some photos and looked it up when I got home.
It is called a cuckoo wasp. They are often metallic blue in color. They are a solitary wasp and the females lay their eggs in other wasp's nests. This cuckoo wasp was on the same porch as the paper wasps.
Anyway, we had fun and it was so nice to be back on a nature day! I love watching these amazing creatures, photographing them, and learning more about them.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
- "Hippoflatamus" by Barb
- "Just pooped" by Tiffany B.
- "Not * one * more * step!" by Robin
- "Momma Hippo collapses after a long day of homeschooling her little ones." by Shanna
- "Yoga pose 17, the Wallowing Warrior" by Sebastian (drawing winner)
- "Hippo-cratic Oath Syndrome!" by masterpiecemom
- ""Dislocated Hipp" by Mommy
- "No hipp-hipp-hurray here." by Holly
- "I've fallen and I can't get up!" by Shannon
- "When did they drain this pool? I hate belly flops." by Paula
- "Fatty, the bored hippopatamus" by JoJo
- "Meltdown" by Cindee
What a creative bunch! Again, thanks for playing along! I enjoyed it, and hope you did, too.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
I went ahead and held a random drawing and my winner is...