Thursday, April 30, 2009

Our Garden


Many years we have wished we could have a nice garden, and yet nothing much ever grows. And I ask myself -- can that patch of dirt turn into a garden?

As you can imagine, we hope this year will be different than all the rest. This year we are going to try really hard! And this year we WILL be successful (does positive thinking really work? ;))!

This year we did something new, so I'm feeling hopeful! For awhile I've been saving our empty tofu, Earth Balance, and soy yogurt containers, and we planted some seeds in them almost a week ago. It's very exciting because some of them are starting to sprout! Here is a close-up of a pumpkin seed that has started to grow:



We plan to plant our little seedlings in approximately 11 days, the day after Mothers' Day. Years ago a lady (I don't even remember who) told me that she waits until after Mothers' Day to plant her garden outdoors because then the danger of freezing is past. I'm unsure if she is right or why I should even trust that she knew what she was talking about, but nevertheless that's the date -- May 11th this year -- we hope to have the soil in the garden ready and to start planting if the seedlings are ready.

We are going to share our journey here with you. I pray our journey is successful this year, somehow, by God's grace. :) If not, though, I'm sure it will be a learning experience, and we will do better next year. Okay, that's enough doubt. . . . I'm going to march on and hope for the best. ;)

Here are (very exciting) pictures of our containers with seeds planted in them.

Pumpkins:


Sunflowers:


Catnip:


Cucumbers:


Cabbage:

Queen Ant

We've seen about six queen ants this year. Yesterday my ten year old son took pictures of one. I'll post three of his pictures below, and here are a couple quotes about queen ants from Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_ant

A queen ant is an adult, reproducing female ant in an ant colony; generally she will be the mother of all the other ants in that colony.


The anatomy of a queen ant is very similar to other ants of that particular species, however, they noticeably are larger than the rest of the ants in the colony. As with other ants, queens have a hard outer covering called the exoskeleton, and their bodies are divided into three main sections: the head, thorax, and abdomen. They have a pair of jointed antennae that can be extended forward when investigating an object. Unlike other ants, however, young queens have a pair of wings. These are only used for the nuptial flight, and are later detached either by the queen herself or chewed off by her worker ants.






Slugs!!!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slugs

Slug is a common non-scientific word, which is often applied to any gastropod mollusk whatsoever that has a very reduced shell, a small internal shell, or no shell at all.


Do you like slugs? Or do you think they are gross? If you think they are gross, you may want to avert your eyes now, but if you like them or are curious, I've got some pictures to share with you!

First of all, though, here is an image which shows the parts of a slug. I got this picture off of Wikipedia.



Near where we live there is a certain cool and shady area where slugs just love to be. They seem to come out after it rains or when it's cooled down after a sunny day.

The day we first realized that spot was a hang out for slugs, my kids pointed out all the slugs to me because I didn't notice the slugs at first. There were so many of them that it really surprised me.

To start off, here is my favorite picture of a slug. It's a slug on bluebells.



Here is a slug on some grass:



Here are some more miscellaneous pictures of slugs! Behold the beauty of the slugs and enjoy! ;)







Nature Blog for Families!

My kids and I live in the Pacific Northwest region, in the Seattle Tacoma area. We are growing to love going outdoors and looking at nature and learning about plants and wildlife. I'm going to post about some of our experiences here, and share pictures as well.