Tiny Frogs

Our Handbook of Nature Study Outdoor Hour Challenge this month features

Reptiles & Amphibians

My youngest daughter really loves to film, photograph and discuss her nature finds.

Here are her latest Outdoor Hour Challenge photo finds of small frogs in our fish pond.

These little frogs are teeny, tiny, only the size of a baby pinkie finger nail, and yet they are perfectly formed.

lara tadpoles

She left all the little frogs in  the pond.  

We remembered some of the misfortunes some tiny frog relatives had when she captured some early spring (last year September) and placed them in bottles …

They all died.

We thought that they may have starved to death and so, after a little research, we placed new frogs with some shredded lettuce leaves in a larger container.  Miss.L even put a few large rocks and stones in the bottle so that the frogs could spend some time out of the water.

Sadly, one rock fell over and squashed some other unfortunate little frogs.

And, worse still, one morning, those brave surviving frogs spied a small opening in the lid and escaped!

About 14 little frogs hopped and jumped through our house, all coming to the front door and some even managed to reach our stoep.  With great care, Miss.L took each carefully to the pond and set them free.  She felt that her attempts at raising these frogs in her aquariums had been a failure.

But, armed with the digital camera, “catching” these frogs was an absolute delight!

Join us for your OHC discoveries in the Outdoor Hour Challenge Carnival.  Submit yours here.

Blessings,

Mushrooms

Our Outdoor Hour Challenge this month features Moss, Lichens and Mushrooms

and this week we’d like to share our study on

Mushrooms

Fungi Finds

As with our moss and lichen nature studies, Miss.L captured her mushroom nature study finds on our camera.

She went off on her own and made me guess where she found the mushrooms!  I could identify the tiny white mushrooms as those that grow on an old tree stump in my veggie garden, and the slender stemmed white mushrooms that grow on the cow manure pile, but I was unsure about the brown mushroom … off to the field guide!

Which reminds me of our family’s first search through the mushroom field guide ~

Our first experience of eating our own wild mushrooms was when our neighbor visited us and brought us a handful of white mushrooms that he picked on his walk through our veld, which were delicious!

I’kowe (Termitomyces umkowaani) also known as Beefsteak Mushrooms

We have several kinds of edible mushrooms that grow on our grazing lands. Some are massive and can reach sizes over 30cm in diameter!

We are “fungi novices” and even though our field guide is very specific, it can be hard to differentiate between the edible and poisonous mushrooms!

After lengthy, detailed comparisons between our SASOL First Field Guide to Mushrooms of Southern Africa photos and physical descriptions, and careful examinations of our huge mushroom, we cut a section off and fried it in some butter and garlic.  We (only my hubby and I) ate a tiny helping.  It was delicious!  We waited for a while and then went to bed. We survived!  The next night we fried up the rest!  It was so large that we froze some.

Mushrooms can look very similar!

Field Mushroom (Agaricus campestris) edible raw or cooked ~ your basic “button mushroom”

kaminski_agaricus_arvensis_02.jpg (725×434)

Horse Mushroom (Agaricus arvensis)

and the infamous Death Cap mushroom ~

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Death Cap (Amanita phalloides) accounts for 90% of all mushroom fatalities worldwide!

I suppose nothing motivates one more to accurately identify a mushroom than when faced with eating a potentially deadly fungi!

This week we did not have to eat any samples, but we did enjoy photographing the variety on our farm.

Join us for your OHC discoveries!

Blessings,

Sharing this post in the Outdoor Hour Challenge Carnival.  Submit yours here.

Save Pinterest Boards

I love to use Pinterest for homeschool planning

(e.g.: famous contemporary artists, and here)

as well as a visual record of my browsing and research.Craft pinterest pic

Most many of my boards are pure Pinterest pleasure and inspiration!

Recently I read how to print your Pinterest boards and gave the concept a try.  Jen gives lovely clear screen shots and step-by-step instructions ~

Using Google Chrome ~

  1. Upload your Pinterest board.
  2. (Make sure all the images load before you continue!  Wait for all those blanks to load or else your printout/ pdf will have blanks!)
  3. Scroll to the very bottom of the board.
  4. Right-click on the slide-down tab and select “Print” in the pop-up menu.
  5. Ensure your printer settings include colour and landscape orientation. (If it is on “Portrait” your right-hand side of the board will be cut off.)
  6. Print.  Simple, right?

Using Mozilla Firefox ~

  1. Upload your Pinterest board.
  2. (Make sure all the images load before you continue!  Wait for all those blanks to load or else your printout/ pdf will have blanks!)
  3. Scroll to the very bottom of the board.
  4. Press “Control + P” for print.
  5. Select your printer to your own pdf printer.  I have Dopdf loaded on my computer.
  6. Click “Print Preview” and change the settings to landscape orientation. (If it is on “Portrait” your right-hand side images of the board will be cut off.)
  7. Print.  Simple, right?

What if you don’t want to print it out?

Here’s how to save a pdf of your Pinterest board ~

Repeat all the steps in the print out instructions above, but instead of pressing “Print”

  • Click the “Change” box in the “Destination” options.

save as pdf

  • A list of options will pop up including “Save as pdf” as well as a list of all your printers and devices.
  • Select “save as pdf”.
  • Click “Save”.
  • A pop-up menu with your board name as the file name.  I added “… pinterest board” to the file name.
  • Select the folder you want to save the pdf to and click “Save”.

save pinterest board as pdf

Now I have a visual file saved with all the internet links that I can use with my planning.

I love how Jen cut out all her Pinterest art lesson printouts and placed them in ziplock baggies to use on her planning forms!

Additional resources:

  1. http://indulgy.com/post/nEZnW7nZF1/how-to-save-a-copy-of-your-pinterest-boards-as-
  2. http://pinterest.com/pin/134545107587830468/
  3. http://pinterest.com/alicia_eyer/all-for-pinterest/

Have you got any good tips to save/ print or use your Pinterest boards? Please share in the comments below.

Blessings,

Moss

Outdoor Hour Challenge this month features Moss, Lichens and Mushrooms

and this week we’d like to share our study on

Moss

Moss Lichen & Mushrooms1

We have become nature detectives once again!

I think that our greatest tool is a digital camera.  Miss.L10 is armed and alert and scampers off to find moss, lichen and mushrooms. She already knows of one spot – her favorite place with a soft carpet of moss.  We stop in the shade and I photograph her feet on the wonderful, cool, velvety, green moss.P1160186 But Miss.L is off to show me her amazing moss discovery – some moss is tucked in a rock, all dusty, browny-grey, seemingly dead.

But she knows a special trick that I must photograph ~ if she pours water on this moss, it will instantly transform into lush green!P1160190 And so, I watch and record the instant recovery – in seconds the moss has revived!

P1160197

A small piece of moss is loose.  She takes it home so that we can examine it closely under our magnifying glass.

No roots?

How does it turn instantly green?

Once again, we do not have the answers and so we search our Handbook of Nature Study and the internet.

The moss is so pretty.  After seeing such lovely moss on Pinterest, we decide to put our moss in some bottles and display them on our nature shelf for the month. A dainty garden of moss and lichens arranged in some glass bottles.

P1160233

The next day Miss.L notices steam inside the bottles.

Steam?

“Where did the steam come from?” Miss.L10 asks me.  And, amazingly, she remembers,  “… transformation? …no, … transpiration!”

Yes!

Delightful nature discoveries!

Join us for your OHC discoveries!

Blessings,

Sharing this post in the Outdoor Hour Challenge Carnival.  Submit yours here.