Category Archives: outdoors

Antique Rose Emporium, Independence, TX – field trip

The Antique Rose Emporium in Independence, TX, is a fantastic garden center to visit. There are tons of unique and interesting plants for sale but also the arrangement of the area is just beautiful.

waterfall and butterflies

We enjoyed walking around the butterfly garden and asking about the various plants that were drawing the butterflies this time of year. We saw some lovely blossoms and enjoyed many fragrances.

butterflies and blossoms

The shade gardens were beautiful and we enjoyed the various greens we saw.

The gravesite for the broken pottery is a fun little side plot that Miss E absolutely adored. She had been wanting to visit since she saw the pictures from this summer.

broken pot graveyard

The maze! What can I say? This was just fun. We chased each other around and around on the little brick paths and laughed and giggled and just enjoyed it. I would love one of these strange shade “trees”.

fun and mazes

The ladies who work here are more than happy to answer questions and to point out interesting plants. They enjoyed talking to the girls and even called them over to show them a plant that eats bugs. What a joy to meet people who truly love what they do.

The blossoms during our visit in October were definitely different than those that we saw back in June. What an interesting comparison to make. And what a fun place to visit.

At Home.

Advertisements

Hiking in New Mexico

Hiking In NM

During our trip to New Mexico, we spent some time hiking in one of the canyons above Bonito Lake. Just a few miles from where I grew up, this is something I enjoyed doing growing up and still enjoy now. The mountains are so peaceful (in spite of all the RVs leaving the forest on the day we were there). Listening to the wind blow through the pines. The cold water flowing through the creek. The grass whispering as it waves. Such a relaxing, joyful time.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There is so much to be gained from experiences like this for our city-girls. The experience of just being able to run and play and explore without thinking of traffic or neighbors is so relaxing. Trying out new things like gold panning is fun. Seeing the variety of flowers that bloom in the mountains, some of which are the same ones we see and others which are different. Finding an elk hoof and talking about why it is there on the side of the mountain. Seeing the damage of the forest fires and the regrowth that happens with time. Fungi, new trees, weeds, seeds – so much variety of plants to look at. Learning the basics of traversing a mountain, even. Wonderful growth experiences you just can’t have in a city.

It was pleasant to just sit and watch the girls romp in the river and to explore as far as they felt bold enough to go. Panning for gold was a fun experience for them, though not productive this time around. I enjoyed the time and the hike up the canyon. We ended our day perfectly with a campfire and smores.

At Home.

Erosion Help – Middle School Monday

While we were at my parent’s house a couple of weeks ago, we took a picnic to a favorite area. We sat under the pine trees (oh did they smell good!) and ate lunch, enjoying a pleasantly warm day.

After lunch was over, we took a short walk up the creek to where one of my brothers had constructed a bridge while in high school. He had created the bridge so that bicyclists would be able to ride across the creek without getting off their bikes. Over the years, erosion had washed out the banks of the creek and it was no longer a bridge bicyclists could ride over.

In addition, due to floods and time, the under side of the bridge had become clogged with debris and rocks. The creek no longer flowed smoothly under and was beginning to pool and create a new path. So, with assistance from grandpa, the girls set about dealing with cleaning out the bridge and moving rocks to assist with and help prevent some of the erosion.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The girls, especially Miss E, determinedly worked at digging out the bridge. She worked really, really hard at pulling out the nasty pine needles and sticks and pinecones that had wedged their way under. She moved rocks, big and small, working and working and working. She kept making progress and having to reach farther and farther under. I was honestly afraid I might see her go headfirst off the bridge but I didn’t want to stop her because she was so determined!

creek work 9

And her determination paid off – after an hour or so of working really hard, there was obvious progress made in the flow of water and its course. Additionally, they removed a few items that don’t belong in the wild – toy boat, rubber duckie, utility flag. All in all, a successful project. And the middle schooler had lots of fun. She finished it all with a huge smile.

Another successful project for this middle schooler.

At Home.

Lake Field Trip – always new

Always New

Do you have a field trip that you take over and over because it is always new. Can fresh eyes, looking for something specific, or a change of season make this place seem very different? No matter how many time you go to this favorite place, there is always something new or different about it?

For me, that place is the lake. It seems like no matter how often we stop by the lake and walk the dam, we always find something new to admire, “ooh” and “ahh” over, or just marvel at. Yesterday was no different.

Always new - flood

We were driving home from church and we noticed that they were letting water out of the lake, trying to lower the water level. (If you know our area, you know that we have had a lot of water in the past few weeks and the lake was quite flooded, though no people were injured and no houses flooded that I know about.) It is interesting to see the lake level being lowered and the water coming through the dam gates. So, we decided that we would walk along the dam to look at it.

Along the way, we observed wildlife, insects, plants, and people. The area always looks different, especially when we are looking at flooded areas as we were last evening.

Always new spider Always new insects Always new deer

The water coming out of the dam was rushing and loud, powerful. It is a marvelous experience and I never tire of it. And, it is always new and different. There was more water being released than I have seen before and the river downstream was rolling from the power of the water flow. The rush of the water created a roar that we could hear long before we could see the it. It left me in awe of God and His power, no matter the situation. His beauty is everywhere and I enjoy visiting the dam and the lake because His presence is always evident, always new.

Always new water

 

Y is for … yesterday outside

Y outside

Yesterday was a beautiful day so we decided to spend some of it outside, enjoying a local park before the summer fully arrives and it is hot. So, we took our normal Friday library trip. And then we had a picnic at a park. We packed a lunch and found a place without very many people around. We ate lunch while reading “The Door In The Wall”. Then the girls did some of their school work. We got some journal writing done, which includes a sketch each day. We did some independent reading, as well. All in all, it was a nice day outside.

P1140576 P1140579

I spent some time getting familiar with a new product. Take a look at the new Field Trip Journal from Apologia! This review will be coming up in a few weeks.

P1140580

That is, until the bees got to bee too friendly! So, we packed up the schoolwork and headed off to explore some of the other parts of the park. (Our local park has several hundred acres and lots of different sections.) We checked out a place where two rivers meet and talked some about boating as we watched a buoy float in the water. The girls have had very little to do with boats so we talked a bit about what I know. I also have had very little to do with boats. Well, we did have a canoe that we took to Elephant Butte just about every year while growing up but the boats around here are very different from a canoe! We also went to a place that is titled Lover’s Leap. I imagine you guess the local lore that is associated with those cliffs. The girls enjoy the view from there and at this time of year, it is beautifully lush and green.

P1140583P1140581

We headed home after that and finished up a bit of school work. It was a relaxing day with experiential learning going on. That is a successful school day in my opinion. And, it was fun!

At Home.

W is for … water and wildflowers

W water and wildflowersIf you are in Texas, know someone in Texas, or used to be from Texas, maybe even if you are within 1,000 miles of Texas, you know that it has been bluebonnet season down here. Everyone goes crazy for bluebonnets. Even me. And I am not a Texan. (I’ve been here for a long time now and once in a while, I’ll claim Texas but I will always be a New Mexico girl at heart. Just sayin’.)

I love the bluebonnets, though. They are beautiful. They are fun. They smell amazingly sweet. They brighten up my days for about two weeks. And then they are gone until the next year. So, I take pictures of them and of my girls in them. There is nothing better to mark their growth than an annual picture. And Texans tend to choose to do them with bluebonnets. (Yep, there’s one of those times that I guess I have to claim being a Texan.)

W smiles in wildflowers

We took a fun field trip to hunt down a really good, publicly accessible field of bluebonnets. And Indian paintbrushes. Because around here, they grow together. We drove about 20 miles and found a lovely little lake to have a picnic by, explore a bit, and enjoy the bluebonnets. It even had a cute little playground for the girls to play at.

W pirate ship playgroundW study wildflowers

After our picnic, the girls sat down and drew the bluebonnets. They got down on the ground and studied them. It was interesting to see the differences in what they noticed about the flowers. And, of course, we took pictures in the bluebonnets.

W water

We also spent an hour or an hour and a half, exploring the edges of the lake. Climbing over limestone, seeing the erosion water creates, finding shells from freshwater clams, seeing how trash gets trapped and rots (gross but educational), and so much more.

It was a terribly fun day. We enjoyed Water and Wildflowers.

At Home.

I is for … Inspiring Beauty

I is forWhile visiting family this holiday season, we have been treated to beauty that can only be created by The Creator. God is amazing in what he places all around us and in what he gives us through the Bible. The beautiful scenery by which we have been surrounded is awe inspiring and I am blessed to have seen it. Even if it did delay our travel plans by several days. Enjoy the scenery. At Home.weather 1 weather 2 weather 3 weather 4 weather 5 weather 6 weather 7 weather 8 weather 9 weather 10

%d bloggers like this: