Monday, July 19, 2010

Nature Unit Studies, the Good, the Amazing & the Ugly

Everyone knows summer has become my favorite season...because in our lives that beautiful, fabulous sunshine means Sam is healthy.

I love Fall for the change of the seasons, the start of sweater weather, the crispness of the air, the tumble of the beautifully colored leaves and the final days of warm sunshine.

Winter is beautiful...the way the snow paints the landscape and decorates the trees. I love making snowmen and snow angels, taking walks in the falling snow and just watching it snow out the window while I snuggle under a warm blanket with Sam.

And Spring, when the leaves come back on the trees, the sun gets warmer and the brown trees and grass begin to take on fresh color. The start of the growing season.

Do you remember from the planting fun unit study, those cute little plants Sam is holding above? Well here is what Sam's garden looks like now.

Look at the size of those bean plants and we have harvested and eaten many a fresh bean already. Yummy!

Sam's zucchini plants have some of the biggest leaves and quickly overtook the space around them. We will be picking our first zucchini's later this week.

Now nature and I usually do get along well together. However, this last week I had a couple close encounters with nature that will stay with me for quite some time.

The first one was when our ever elusive white ghost decided to run through the yard while I watered my flowers. It is one thing to see a brown deer run through, but an albino deer really gets your attention. In Wisconsin we have a larger than normal albino deer population. These albino deer are protected and are truly a site to behold. Check out this link to learn and see more about these beautiful animals:

Now my next encounter was, well...I think you just have to see it to believe it.

Yep, that's right...we had a 2 foot snapping turtle decide to take up residence in our garage. This turtle came complete with pond scum, sufficient moss build up, leech friends and the worse odor you can imagine. It looked like some type of prehistoric animal, kind of majestic and regal in it's own way but at the same time kinda smelly, really ugly and desperately in need of a good pedicure.

Needless to say my red Christmas Ribbon had to be thrown away after getting "turtle poo" on it. We had hoped that the turtle would leave just as it had come but it seemed to have a different idea, so some gentle persuasion with a shovel got it moving along. After looking up snapping turtles so I could correctly identify it, I learned that they come out of the swamps in late June and early July to lay their eggs. Oh I'm guessing that this was a female turtle, I really wasn't interested in turning it over to check it out but looking at it's wide back end I'm guessing it wanted to lay some eggs. Okay, now I'm not saying that all females have wide back ends...let's just not go there.

During the gentle persuasion we had to remove Sam from the garage since he got agitated when the turtle got agitated. He hates to see anyone or anything get upset. And believe me the snapping and hissing led me to believe the turtle was not happy with me. Once I got it outside the garage I asked Danielle to close the garage door and then began to video tape it's return to the wild.

Never a dull moment on the Mayer homestead. Happy Trails!!

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