Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September 28

ocean spray, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

warm september day at Harkness

kids, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

Took a walk at Harkness through the marsh and then along the beach. Gorgeous!

Least Sandpiper?

some kind of sandpiper ?, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

September 27

Molly's 6th birthday party, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

M's 6th birthday party

Molly's 6th birthday party, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

September 26

wood ducks, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

OK, I am irrationally excited about this sighting .. these are wood ducks! I have always wanted to see wood ducks. There were a few pairs in the pond but they all took off as soon as I showed interest in them. The male was actually chasing the female and nipping at her to make her go more quickly away from danger (aka the crazy woman with the camera). Wish I could have gotten a better look. We were on our way to pick up our veggies at the CSA .. the last week. Sigh. We got more potatoes, garlic, onions, and some great butternut squash. So we had delicious butternut pear soup for dinner. I made biscuits and salad. J made peanut butter chocolate cupcakes. YUM! Then Felica stopped over with some toys for the (thrilled) kids. Good day.

September 25

autumn leaves, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

autumn leaves

crossing a log

crossing a log, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.


dragonfly, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

L saved a dragonfly from a spider web. I am proud but I swear this kid has no fear when it comes to bugs. At least she has mostly stopped catching bees! We met A, R and E for a picnic and walk. The kids got soaked under the bridge at Devil's Hopyard. I luckily anticipated this and brought extra clothes. Then we went for a nice walk in the woods, the kids found a log over the stream and worked on their fear/confidence in crossing it. My kids were determined. e started out inching across on his bottom and by the end, he was walking across. We saw a turkey on the drive in. Collected little peach colored berries (could not figure out what tree they were coming from.. must look up) and the kids thought they would be perfect gifts for the fairies so we collected some and took them home for the fairy garden.

black duck

black duck, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

great blue heron

great blue heron, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

September 24

The Rambles, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

Florence Griswold Museum. The Rambles art installation. Kids loved poking around in it. Really neat and always amazed by the beauty of FloGris. L had her class and since it was small today, e and I got to join. We toured the gallery and the house, and then had a chance to paint down by the river. The kids looked adorable in their huge smocks. It was fun for them (if a little frustrating at times) to mix their own colors. We will plan to practice more at home.

The Rambles

The Rambles, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

The Rambles

The Rambles, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

painting en plein air

painting en plein air, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

September 23

gull, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.


great egrets and a snowy egret

mute swan

mute swan, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

wading at ocean beach

wading, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

down the path

down the path, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

September 22 .. Bird watching

L, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

Kingfisher, Osprey, Black ducks, swans, tons of cormorants. Huge bullfrog, lots of dragonflies, monarch caterpillars (we took "Blue" and "curious" home and they turned into a chrysalis in the next 2 days), painted turtles, owl scat. There is something about the light in the fall. It was a beautiful day. We walked a lot, spent nice time together and went home and cooked a delicious meal.

mudwasp on goldenrod ?

mudwasp on goldenrod ?, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

monarch caterpillar on milkweed

monarch on milkweed, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

balancing rocks

balancing rocks, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

moonstone stones

300/365 september 22, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

juvenille ring-billed gull (?)

juvenille ring-billed gull?, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

kids watching crabs

kids watching crabs, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

First day of fall .. autumn equinox. Went for a long walk at Moonstone Beach and then Trustom Pond.

Monday, September 28, 2009

September 21

butterfly, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

common wood nymph
last day of summer hike

american toad ??

american toad, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

found on our hike

wood frog

wood frog, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

hike at Barn Island

September 20

calico asters, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

calico asters

treasure map

treasure map, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

"Pirates" in search of a treasure at Ben's bday party.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

September 19

baby chicks, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

baby chicks at terra firma farm

old orchard cider press

old orchard, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

yum! fresh cider.

September 18

castle, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

Gillette Castle State Park.
Found a tons of frogs, tadpoles and turtles in the pond. Explored the castle gardens .. found a letterbox, watched the ferry go back and forth, and played with friends.


peeking, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

Gillette Castle State Park with friends

September 17 .. chrysalis

chrysalis, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

kids reading

kids reading, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

Not much we like in this house more than a stack of books!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sept 16th .. picking fruit

picking fruit, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.
Today J had a flat tire so the kids and I took a field trip to the tire store. The kids were interested to ask what they would do. We discovered the screw embedded in our tire and the man who checked us in and out later was very patient and explained how they fixed the tire. While we were waiting we went over to water plants and check on g&g's house. We saw a hummingbird up close. After some lego play and outside running around while I watered plants, we headed to pick fruit. We picked pears, nectarines, peaches and cortland/macintosh apples. Yum! When we went to pick up our tire, there were literally 20 men in the store .. customers and staff .. so of course, when asked if I needed help getting the tire to my car, I said no thank you. I think one of the men almost hurt himself running to get the door for me and the kids. I tried to be appreciative because I am sure he was well-intentioned .. but sometimes I have such a chip on my shoulder about being in gender vacuum places like tire shops.
In the evening we visited with Felica and her dog while putting the new tire back on the car. e was very concerned with how the tire would stay on.

Sept 15th .. hog peanut

hog peanut, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.
We are doing the "100 species challenge" and trying to photograph and identify 100 plants that grow near us. We are starting in our yard and neighborhood. These hog peanuts are growing on our back fence. There was a time when I wondered if they were poison ivy since they have 3 leaves. I have since learned that they can be eaten .. maybe we will be feeling adventurous once they get a little bigger.
L spent a bit of time playing at our hs neighbors house. Later we headed out to my membership meeting. The kids feel so comfortable there with all the adults. I love that my kids are able to have "friends" who are all ages. L says things like "My friend and I were talking about how much we like to watch birds" only for me to discover she is talking about a 50 year old. Love it. We got a call from our neighbor this morning .. she is a sweet 86 year old woman. She asked to borrow some change so she could ride the bus today without having to break dollar bills. When we went over to drop it off, she gave the kids bananas and a cookie. :) Riding the bus is something I am adding to our list of things to do.

Sept 14th .. guinea pig love with "chisel"

chisel, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

madness and chaos .. but all good :)

Monday with our weekly hs friends. Everyone had a great time .. they love going to friends houses. Thanks P for having us all over. My kids especially loved the guinea pigs, trampoline (love/hate there, they are both requesting one although e found out in a difficult way that a hiding under a trampoline is not a wise choice), castle play, trumpet demonstration, hide and seek, and playing in N's room. We were all pretty overstimulated .. and headed home for quiet stories and taking in our dry, wonderful-smelling laundry from the clothesline. Ahh .. what a day!

Sept 13th .. there is nothing like a new baby

zane, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.
Sunday brought church .. this is our newest friend Zane (love this name!) .. and he is adorable! We went early to get everything set up for our potluck. Service was beautiful ... one of my favorites of the year .. the water communion. We all gather in one service, and it was crowded .. more chairs had to be brought out and we were packed in .. i love to see so many people there. Many uu's take the summer off, so it was a great time to see everyone. And during the service everyone has a chance to go forward and add the water they collected over the summer to the special bowl on the chancel. We added ours from Lake Kashwakamak in Ontario. The kids were so excited to see their friends and are looking forward to starting their classes next week. Well L is excited and e is apprehensive.
I was very nervous about the potluck but we had a great turnout. Our minister pronounced me "the queen of membership." :) I am feeling overwhelmed being committee chair this year. Somehow when asked 2 years ago I thought the kids would be so much older and I would have more free time .. but those 2 years flew by and I am just as busy with the kids; if not more so. The potluck going well makes me feel a little more at peace with the responsibilities; and the kids were a great help and even stayed for lunch.
e says when we came home we played with train tracks, read a story, watched a movie, went grocery shopping, listened to the new books on tape .. he remembers perhaps better than I.

j's new tattoo

j new tattoo, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sept 12th .. feeding bunnies at terra firma farm

Another rainy day .. but we managed to sneak in a walk at the farm while we were picking up our veggies from our csa. We fed the rabbits some grass and I absolutely fell in love with this one. (I think it it a rex rabbit and it reminded me of how much I would love to have one. :)
J came home with his new elaborate tattoo and the kids asked lots of questions. I wish we could have gone with him because I know the kids would have been interested to watch .. but I know we could not have handled the four hours in the tattoo place! L spent a lot of time today writing words with "at" and kept coming up with them .. cat, hat, mat! A good reminder for me of how motivated the kids are to learn and how natural and spontaneous their learning can be if I relax and let them lead us. She knows more words by sight each day and I am trusting the process. She certainly has the motivation to read .. we spend hours on the couch looking at books, "reading" and creating stories from the illustrations and "painting" with a dry paintbrush. (my artist!) She made up this activity a long time ago and I feel she is studying how the illustrations were made. Now e does follows her example. I know that they are learning all the time .. and I am reminded of the beauty and wonder in the things I am inclined to think of as ordinary and every day. My "job" is to provide an environment full of options and opportunities. I really do love this time of year .. I feel very inspired.

Sept 11th .. monarch getting ready to chrysalis

Today we again waited for the plumber .. but when he came (the kids LOVE him) he talked to them about everything he was doing ... so we had a plumbing lesson .. and we no longer have pipes leaking into our living room .. yay! Our monarch was still looking like an upside down caterpillar when the plumber left and we headed out to the coop and library. When we came back it was a chrysalis. Even I am enthralled by this transformation, so I cannot imagine how magical it must seem to the kids. :)

Sept 10th .. at Ocean Beach

at Ocean Beach, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

Ocean Beach

at Ocean Beach, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

L woke me up this morning by asking if she could go out and do more yardwork. I asked if she wanted to eat first but no she wanted to get out there asap. :)
We headed out late morning (after I tore her away from the clippers) for not-back-to-school gathering at Ocean Beach. There were quite a few people there despite the fact that it was "cancelled" due to bad weather. It was super windy with bigger waves than I have ever seen at OB. We had fun on the beach for a bit and then headed across the boardwalk to the playground when all the kids started complaining about sand in their eyes.
Later we got a message from the grandparents who are traveling in China. We did some research on Beijing and the Ming Tombs .. then we were able to find the tombs on satellite photographs ... pretty neat! The kids were fascinated by one of the excavated tombs and by the pairs of mythical animals that guard a section on the path. Can't wait to see their pictures.

I went out in the evening to hear David Benioff speak about his novel "City of Thieves" .. hearing him speak made me appreciate the book even more .. and I got my copy autographed. :) I was surprised to hear that it is all ficition .. he had me there! It is such a visually rich book and it has really stayed with me .. even weeks after having finished it. I highly recommend it.

Sept 9th .. hard working yardworker

hard working yardworker, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.
Today we were waiting for the plumber so we cancelled our plans to go peach/apple picking. :( The plumber finally came an hour late and stayed for 5 minutes .. however we decided to have a yard work day. L asked if she could use the clippers (deep breath ... she is 7) and so off she went thrilled. She spent literally 4 hours clipping weeds out of the fence. We were so productive! e even helped me cut some out (not as productive but cute) and we sat atop the compost bin for a while and watched the birds at the feeder. We have an adorable finch who visits right now who has no tail feathers. She has some issues steering and landing so each time she makes it onto the feeder, we cheer. Since I cleared out the garden, the birds were all over the freshly turned dirt. We planted some lettuce and a little spinach. I may be too late on that .. but it was fun anyway!

Sept 8th .. e at the playground

286/365 september 8, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.