Wednesday, July 17, 2013


 We found a Black Swallowtail caterpillar munching on our carrots and put it into our bug jar to observe it. It was perfect timing! It quickly settled in and formed a chrysalis. As soon as it hatched, we gently took it out of the bug jar and watched as it dried it's wings and got its bearings. It lingered for quite a while, and we were able to take pictures and compare it to the pictures in our books.
There's been lots of reading about butterflies...

 And being butterflies...

And, more Swallowtails.
This one is a Giant Swallowtail, and it was found on our echinacea. It only spent a few minutes in the bug jar, just long enough for some photos and observation. The kids are very committed to not damaging our local butterfly population, and have been working on grand plans for a separate butterfly garden that's out of the area that the chickens forage in. 

This one hasn't been identified yet, but prompted at least two hours of scouring the identification guides, and some pretty impressive reading. It was in pretty bad shape when it was found.

We recently visited COSI for a Spiderman photo event, and couldn't leave without taking a few photos of the recycled butterfly sculptures of Michelle Stitzlein.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Haven't done this in a while...

A long day running around requires lots of snacks.
-Zucchini/banana bread
-Boiled egg
-Blueberry fruit strip
-Raw energy bar squares
-Organic corn chips
-Strawberry/banana smoothie with homemade coconut milk
-Peanuts and raisins with a chocolate lego (I need to work on getting the air bubbles out better)

The chocolate lego was the hit of the party, obviously. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Rainy day rainbows

After an extraordinarily hot and sunny morning, the afternoon proved quite wet. It worked out perfectly since our morning plans had us running around outside, and after that we were ready for a quiet and relaxing indoor activity. I came across this rainbow stained glass window project last night, and thought it would be perfect for our front door. We used liquid watercolor, white crayons, and an all-purpose paper roll. I would have preferred a slightly sturdier paper, as this one wanted to warp a bit with the watercolor. But, since it doesn't effect the finished product too much, we went ahead and used it.

It's not very visible in the photos, but the white crayon repelled the watercolor nicely, and makes for a very striking effect with the sun shining through. The panels with random scribbles and geometric designs were the most effective. We have a few with drawings of flowers and butterflies that are a little more difficult to make out. The kids are pleased with their addition to our door, and have already decided that the next time we do this project, we'll use multiple colors on each panel, and be more random with the crayon. Oh, and don't forget the "peek hole"!