Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sing a Song of Springtime!

Spring has officially sprung. We've had hot weather, cold weather, rainy days, and our first night of tornado sirens.  We've also had lots of fun!  Abby (2) and especially Andrew (3) have been very excited by springtime.  Back in the fall, I started talking to them about the seasons, how fall meant that it gets colder outside, the leaves turn colors and fall.  Then winter comes and it's very cold, the trees are bare, the snow falls, the animals are hard to find.  All through winter, we would talk about what would happen when spring came....the warm weather, green leaves, caterpillars, butterflies, birds, flowers, gardening!

Now Andrew will notice one of these things and he'll shout, "Mom, spring is here!"

We ordered new caterpillars for our butterfly garden.  Andrew loved the caterpillars...Abby not so much!  But when they changed into butterflies and flew around the Butterfly Garden, they both loved it.

One of our Painted Lady butterflies.  

We released them about a week an a half ago!

Dewberry plants vining along our western fence line.

Andrew and Abby helping wash rocks.  There are a thousand of these landscaping rocks all over our front yard from the previous owners. We've been doing our best to gather them up and do something productive with them....or at least get them out of the way!

Abby with a Wishberry Blossom (er....dandelion)!

Our square foot garden beds.  We marked out the squares with some of those rocks we washed!  This year we have broccoli, lettuce, onions, carrots, tomatoes, grape tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, cucumbers, green beans, sugar snap peas, and okra in our beds!

Caught sight of this red-winged blackbird in our front yard.  They live mostly at the park about a block away because they like the marshy area around the pond.  They're really quite beautiful.  The little kids always love it when birds come in our yard.  We have a bird feeder that has been around for at least 10 years and the birds love to come eat from it...when the squirrels don't beat them to it!

Andrew makes a moustache out of a dandelion stem.

This is our puppy, Luma.  It's a good thing she's cute, because she ate all my strawberry plants that had just started to fruit!

Rainy days mean open doors and cool breezes through the house!

Sunflower seedlings...inadvertently planted.  The birds drop the seeds out of the bird feeder and now there are sunflowers in our rose bush beds in front of the porch.  I'm going to move them to the fence line.

Prolific dandelions before the first mowing of the year.

Andrew wants to help mow...he's got a few years yet!

Cold drink on a warm day!

You can see our long watermelon/pumpkin bed here, and way up ahead are the two other veggie beds.  And there's a cute little girl!

Wild strawberries along the side of the porch.

They're everywhere.

We bought one of those birdhouses that you mount on the window and you can see through the back.  Unfortunately, the instructions say to mount it by mid-March and ours didn't go up til April.  I don't think we'll get any nests this year but maybe next year!

I found this Asian Lady Beetle today.  They're supposed to be good for controlling pests on pecan trees, and I found this one about 5 feet from our pecan tree!  The little kids were fascinated.

Mrs. (MR?) Lady Beetle

Tony found this little garter snake while weedeating.  Thankfully he spotted it before it got hit with the weedeater!  Andrew liked looking but didn't want to touch it, and Abby would only stand about 3 feet away!

Hello, snakey.

Kate (16) has no problem handling creepy critters.

Gotta blow bubbles!

The little kids kept wanting to dig in the garden beds (after the seeds were already planted), so Tony built them this little bed of soil just to dig and play in.

Our first sprouted seedling - lettuce!  Hopefully many more plants to come.  If we can just keep the dog out of there!

So, there's a little rundown of our springtime fun so far this year.  If nothing else, I hope you can see that little ones can learn plenty simply from being outside in nature, it's the best possible teacher!

I hope to get back into the habit of blogging on a regular basis, starting with "here's what we're doing" posts like this one, and hopefully eventually I'll have the time and focus to write up some deeper thoughts.  Until then, I hope you enjoy seeing what we're up to!

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