"....Your children shall be like olive plants all around your table." Psalm 128:3

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Nature Fun

We have been enjoying the beautiful spring weather in our area. It seems as if we are spending more time outside than inside these days.  :)

A couple of weeks ago, hubby suggested we hike what is locally called "2nd Mountain". It's not too far from where hubby and sons turkey hunt. And the top of the mountain just happens to be directly across from our house. The girls and I had never hiked this mountain before, and we were expecting a nice, wide path to hike on. Well, there was no path at all. And it was rough terrain the entire time, with steep inclines, rock scrambles, and thickets to get through.
But in spite of the 3-hour work-out, it was alot fun. We saw so many interesting things along the way. And the best part was when we got to the top, we looked towards the east and saw our house.  :)

Here are some photos of what we saw.

We crossed  small streams as we hiked...

Wild irises were everywhere...

We fought our way through thick briars and underbrush..

The mountain laurel wasn't blooming yet...

Plenty of lichens..

   Interesting brown moss..

 Acorns scattered about..

And acorns sprouting everywhere..
Even on a rock!

Rock scrambles..

We all had our trusty hand-made hiking sticks with us, which were a great help on these rocks.  :)

Beautiful ferns..

A dead pine tree, loaded with pine cones..

Hmm...wonder what lives in there?
 Or there?

We wondered what (or who!) made the holes in these rocks..

We couldn't identify this little plant, but the pink bell-like blossoms were lovely..

When we finally made it to the ridge, the view was breath-taking..

There was evidence of the pine beetle's damage..

But thankfully, there were plenty of pine saplings everywhere on top..

 We saw ferns growing out of rocks! Amazing!

And this little guy..a juvenile Black Rat snake..

 Not sure what these interesting-looking plants are. Anyone?

Our final destination was the creek, and it was a very welcome sight..

 Time to cool off, watch the butterflies, and catch crayfish..

 And this beautiful tree was growing beside the creek. Lovely!
 It was a wonderful day enjoying the beautiful creation of our Awesome Creator.  :)

    "O Lord, how great are your works!" ~ Psalm 92:5

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Keeping Company - My Nature Journal

Since getting back into Keeping, I have been sketching more in my Nature journal. And I have found that it's so relaxing! Before, it was done just to "get it done". But now, I am doing it for the pure enjoyment of it.  :) One of my favorite things to sketch is birds, mainly because we did alot of bird-watching last winter.

With the severe winter we had, we didn't get out much for Nature hikes. So we set up a bird-watching area in the dining room, complete with binoculars, our bird field guide, and our (brand new) bird list.
 Next we sprinkled bird seed on our deck table. Then, the birds descended.  :)  It was wonderful to sit at the dining room table while doing school lessons and watch the birds just outside the window. The pages of our bird list filled up fast.
We saw Dark-eyed Juncos, House Sparrows, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Purple Finches,  House Finches, Chickadees, Song Sparrows, and many other species, even a Tufted Titmouse or two.

 Now, for this month's optional prompt at Celeste's , she is asking for a peek into Moms' Nature journals. 

So I am sharing what I have sketched in my journal the past several months. Not all entries are birds, but I find birds to be the easiest subjects to sketch. 

A cardinal.. ( I might add some background to this; it looks a little blah.)
We saw a Hairy Woodpecker in the trees behind our house. He was such fun to sketch!  :)

A Black-capped Chickadee.

And now for some signs of Spring.

I don't consider myself an artsy person, and sketching doesn't come easy for me. But I am learning -  and loving it. And I am blessed with an artsy hubby who gives me lots of encouragement. He sketches everything from Bible stories to things he comes up with on his own.
Here is a peek at what his sketching looks like.

Looking forward to seeing what other Moms will be sharing this month.  :)

P. S. My apologies for the out of line photos. Blogger was not being very co-operative today.  :/