Tinkering Kit

For Valentine's Day.


Owl Pellets

The loot:
Wrapped in foil and ready to be baked in the oven, for sterilization:

Believe me when I tell you that baking owl pellets do not make your house smell good.


The parts laid out for identifying and labelling:


Raptor Road Trip

Saturday was the Audubon Society's annual Raptor Road Trip on Sauvie Island - an event we have been eagerly anticipating all year.  It did not disappoint - the weather was gorgeous and we managed to spot several large birds of prey and their nests throughout the day. 

Bald eagle nests are the biggest of any bird in North America.  They can weigh up to a ton! 

Two immature bald eagles: 

 They don't get the white head like this one until about five years of age.

Another one in action:

A sharp shinned hawk:

A red tailed hawk:

And Elliot's highlight of the day - finding an owl pellet on the ground.  Once he started looking he found about twenty.  Guess what we're doing this afternoon?


Highlights from the week that was


Lots and lots of lovely sunshine.
A mid-week night without the kids  - we made homemade Indian food and then browsed the art galleries downtown.  It's so nice to live near the grandparents!
A special frozen yogurt date with Oliver.
Making fairy houses in the park.
New kilim pillow covers for the couch.
Spending Saturday on Sauvie Island.
Watching the superbowl with neighborhood friends.




This week we are learning about the Italian painter Giotto, so we tried our hand at making our own paint.

Crushing colored chalk into a powder:
 Mixing the powder with egg yolks and water:

 Testing it out - a little lumpy but it worked.


Forest Park

 Tuesdays are normally one of my favorite days of the week.  There's no preschool for Oliver, so the mornings start slowly and we usually make something bigger for breakfast, like pancakes.  For Elliot it's a lighter school day since it's hard for us to delve deep into things when Oliver just wants to be right in the middle of it all.  But today was bumpy - oh so bumpy right from the start.   The solution was to get out for a hike, so we all loaded up and went to Forest Park to check out the Old Stone House.  Of course this got us into a discussion about the history of the place and the tragedy that befell the Balch Family, one of the first pioneering families in Oregon.  I certainly wasn't expecting our little outing to lead to a discussion about capital punishment, but that's one of the things I love most about homeschooling.  There really is learning to be had just about everywhere you go.

The highlight for Elliot was spotting this hairy woodpecker.  He's been wanting a picture of one of these birds for his book.

It was beautiful and tranquil - all of the trees are covered in moss and the creek is full from all the rain.