Monday, April 22, 2013

Weekly recap!

What a fun week we had!

Our week consisted of lots of baseball, a nature center visit, starting our vegetable garden, a visit from some beautiful wildlife and, a visit to grandma's house! I'd say it was one of the most fun filled weeks this Spring.

Both my boys are involved in baseball this Spring. It takes up a lot of our time. The youngest plays on a Tee-ball team where he practices on Thursdays and plays his game on mostly Saturdays. The oldest practices 1 day a week (usually a Wednesday) and plays his games 2 days a week (usually Monday and Saturday). So for 4 days out of the week we are at the field. It is stressful and busy at times but, the boys really enjoy it. Carson wants to go everyday and see his friends and hit the ball. Conner has improved so much over the past couple weeks. His confidence is soaring. That's all we ever wanted from baseball was to allow our boys to make new friends, have some fun and, build their confidence up. Conner played in the fall and was very down on himself. Didn't think he was good enough. We have seen leaps and bounds of improvement with that this season. We are so proud of them both.

We are so lucky to live on the land that we do. There are so many wild animals that come to visit. We love to walk around and see what types of tracks we find. Deer, geese, turkey, even a fox print here and there.  This week, while sitting down at the pond we kept seeing this beautiful bird fly above us. We had never seen it before. It's feathers were very black with a peek of red/orange and yellow. We at first didn't see the yellow and thought it must be an Oriole. After taking some pictures and looking through our binoculars we finally saw the yellow. It wasn't an Oriole but, we had no clue what it was. We went indoors and researched it online. We discovered it was a Red Winged Black Bird. Such a very pretty bird. He also has a very distinct call. We enjoyed discovering him and learning about him.
Some fun facts we enjoyed were:
*Only the male is Black with a red shoulder and yellow wingbar. The female is a blackish brown color.
*They enjoy wetlands and marshes especially areas with cattails. (Which we have)
*They make their nest in the cattail brushes usually anywhere between 3in and 14 ft above water.
*One males will protect sometime up to 10 females. He will swoop and attack bigger birds and even have been known to swoop down on humans to scare them away from their nests.

We also had another visit this week from a Great Blue Heron. Again, once we saw him/her we weren't sure what it was. We all thought it was a crane. After pictures and identifying it on the internet, we discover it was in fact a Great Blue Heron (Or so we think). It is such a beautiful heron. Unfortunately, he is eating a lot of her fish. I sort of hope it doesn't stay long. But, I don't want to disrupt it in case it has babies somewhere. We learned a little about this Heron. We aren't sure if our friend is a male or female. We learned that the male are larger and have longer bills. However, we have only seen one so we don't have anything to compare it to. Among our search we also found a live webcam of a beautiful Great Blue Heron couple and their nest. We have really enjoyed watching them take after the nest.

During the weekend we took a trip to a local Nature Center. They were having an event there with venders, live animals and, a turtle demonstration. The boys tasted some herbs. Their favorite was the mint and their least favorite was the basil. They also planted some catnip for our cat Diesel. They held a couple different species of snakes, a toad and, a beautiful wood turtle. We then listen to a presentation about different turtle species we can find in out state. The boys really enjoyed the event.

Lastly, we started our family vegetable garden. The boys helped weed and dig the garden. We then decided what we wanted to plant. We decided on Broccoli, Green Peppers, Tomatoes, Squash and, Zucchini.  The boys also want to try a couple container gardens too. We're thinking lettuce, strawberries,and a variety of peas and green beans! It is still a little cool for some of our vegetables so we decided to only plant our broccoli this weekend. The boys had fun putting a bit of soil in the holes, placing the broccoli plant in and then covering them back up. It all went very fast as all things with boys do. Next time I think I will slow them down a bit more and have them each do a step with me. I don't think they took time to enjoy the moment.

See Conner is so fast, I hardly got any pictures with him. Except silly ones! ;)

Overall, we had a very fun with nature week. We can't wait for warmer weather and more outdoor activities. Come back as I update everyone on our life-cycle of the toads and frog in the pond. We finally have tadpoles!!

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