Friday, August 22, 2014

Birdwatch 1

The pied triller below is now under the care of the 2 boys.

It was found in our lawn this morning, unable to fly.  According to M1 it was safer for the bird to be kept inside the house so it will not be run over by cars.  M1 identified the bird right away, with its black eye marking, as we browsed through's galleries (our bird @ Gallery 5- Family Campephagidae, also pied triller).  We made sure we were looking at the right picture by also checking on the shape of the beak and the color of the plumage.  What we learned is that the bird feeds on insects it catches on the ground and while it is flying.  We also listened to samplings of its song and calls on the internet while our actual live bird is still weak to make lots of its own noise. 
Photos taken by M1.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Dear Kitty,

Today we finished our last chapter of The House at Pooh Corner (we've also read all of Winnie-the-Pooh).  It reminds me of Calvin and Hobbes.  And a childhood long gone by.  It made me think of oppressed children and their lost childhood.  And it made me think of children the ages of my sons stuck behind the school desk.  And now I think I know what the [homeschool] moms meant when they say that the worst day in homeschool is still better than the best days of school.  Although my kids are not yet reading words on their  own (oh, but they do read!  why else would they like opening books?!) and doing their math operations,  I celebrate these days of Legos and backyard explorations; and the comfort of having a brother for a constant companion; and the pretensions of being a peregrine falcon and of being a manta ray; and evolving interests, from cars to animals to dinosaurs; and of getting dirty with mud and more dirt; and the reluctance of taking a bath at the same time refusing to finish taking a bath; and the fascination with experiments without a hypothesis to prove or counter.  And as I send them off to bed, I wonder until when will your tail provide a soothing passage to sleep.  I think of your future and the days when you will turn to memory and nostalgia.  Because these, too, will pass.  But until then, I'm glad to have given them the opportunity to live their days like Christopher and Calvin in the land of enchantment and imagination.