Saturday, February 23, 2008

Kitchen Windows

Our kitchen windows have been well used over the last few weeks. I moved our bird feeders where they could be seen from the kitchen again because that seems to be where I spend the most time and get to see the most birds. Last week the kitchen became bird watching central as we participated in Project Feeder Watch and then the Great Backyard Bird Count. Maya is usually my enthusiastic bird watching partner but wasn't feeling too well last week and didn't watch with me as much. Riley and Seth watched a bit.

Northern Cardinal

A pair of Mourning Doves

I feel a bit torn about bringing birds and squirrels to our yard with feeders rather than natural food sources. Then I look up and down my street at the homes, big lawns, pavement, and non-native landscaping that reside in what used to be woods and reason to myself that maybe I'm giving back a bit in return for what was taken away. Still, watching the birds this week has me revisiting the idea of reworking my own yard into a more natural, native habitat. There are lots of resources and ideas for this on the National Wildlife Federation's website.

By this week, everyone was feeling better. Wednesday evening the clouds cleared *just* in time for us to enjoy the beautiful total lunar eclipse. Some unschooling friends from Ohio were spending a couple of nights with us, and everyone was running back and forth between video/computer games and Maya's Martian maker lab and the changing appearance of the moon. It was bitterly cold, and we were grateful to have a perfect view from the windows for the duration of the eclipse. We did decide to open the windows once the moon began glowing red to get the full effects of the color without the glass. We had conversations about what's happening during an eclipse and about eclipse lore and legends, some that I had read about and several that the kids knew from various cartoons.

Maya drawing herself on the red, eclipsed moon

Riley & one of our visiting friends, Titus, & Maya

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