Path-Breakers (and Other Woodsy Stuff)

We were recently at my grandparents’ house for three days while my parents when on an anniversary trip, and during that time we made ourselves a path through their woods. It was so fun! (But, heh heh, I had to pay for it – my face is half covered in poison ivy rash now. Yeah. But it’s not so bad, actually. It doesn’t itch that much right now, although when I woke up today my face was all puffy. XD )

Oh, and sorry, but I didn’t take any pictures of the path. 😦

*Bursts into laughter* I’m just kidding – of COURSE I took pictures. XD XD

We made the path by clearing away the leaves, rocks, nuts, and sticks; and pulling out and trimming the many roots, saplings, and maybe the occasional unbeknownst poison ivy vine. 😉 It was hard work, my friends. But it was FUN!

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The beginning of the path (and my brother with a wheelbarrow).

But the our pride and joy was a nice-sized clearing we made in the woods. We even cut down a smallish tree with a handsaw that was in the way. (Uh-huh, yep! XD ) For the clearing, we made sure the ground was especially clear and free of stumps and other poky things because we wanted to be able to walk there barefoot. After we got it all cleared we rimmed the whole thing with rocks which we brought to the clearing via wheelbarrow. Then we added a fire ring (made from rocks), chairs (from stumps), a bench (from stumps and a board), and little table (also from a stump), and hung up a hammock (which we didn’t make. 😀 ).



You can see the size of the clearing best in the third picture.

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Now for some more detailed views.

You can see in the picture above that we made a little fire, but we had to put it out because sparks were kind of flying about, and we weren’t hankering after a forest fire. :/ We might try again when it’s wetter outside. We specifically made the fire ring around the stump of the tree we cut down so that we could burn it off.

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Stump-chairs and the bench:

We dragged this stump to the clearing for a little table/chair. (The white thing is a quartz rock)

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The day we made the clearing, Megan found a snail and a salamander. We made them our “mascots” and put them on the stump in a little container. And the next day they had disappeared. 😦 XD

I only have pictures of the snail, but you can go to my sister’s post about this here to see a picture of (the back of) the salamander.

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Aren’t snail shells beautiful? I love the way God designed them.

And the hammock… ahh!

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Looking up at the sky from the hammock…

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I can’t wait to see the path in spring! All the new leaves and blooming forsythia bushes will make it beautiful.

So far the path is about 400 feet (we added some past the clearing too), and we’re going to keep making it longer!

I hope you enjoyed this little tour. 🙂


P. S. Before you leave I wanted to show you some neat pictures I took of my sister puffing a puffball. I LOVE puffballs, don’t you?! 😀 (Click on a pictures to enlarge.)

P. P. S. I took gobs more pictures of things like sunsets and farm landscapes while I was at my grandparents’ house, so look for those soon. (By the way, my grandparents live just up the road – we are so blessed!)


A Walk in the Woods

Yesterday we had Nature Study with our friends, and we went for a walk in the woods after our lesson. There were so many interesting and pretty things to take pictures of!

We drove to the woods in our truck, and I snapped this funny picture of Maggie while on the ride. It makes her look quite wide, doesn’t it? XD XD XD (You can see that she’s shedding for spring. 😀 )

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There was several lovely mosses that I just had to take pictures of – heh heh. 🙂 (Click on any picture to enlarge it.)

I like these pictures below of moss on a rock.

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A downy feather, stranded in moss…

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I also found a feather by the roadside. Isn’t it amazing how delicate and beautiful  feathers are? Actually, this feather is not exactly as delicate or beautiful as some. 😀 (Click to enlarge, again.)

Megan found a little salamander and put him on a leaf to take a picture of him. I slipped in to get a few pictures too. ;D (Cli… – eh, you already know. XD )

Fungus on a branch…

Henbit… I love looking at the little purple flowerets up close.

And last but not least, here are three galls my sister spotted for me. Another gall necklace, anyone? XD XD XD

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P. S. It feels super warm today – it’s 72 degrees (Fahrenheit)! When it’s warm in summer and spring sometimes our family will eat a meal on the little flat roof just beside our room. We listen to music, or watch the cars go by, and it’s really fun. 🙂 Have you ever done that?

Fall Walks

Here are some pictures from recent nature walks around our farm:

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I thought this mullein looked pretty with the dewdrops on it.

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We saw a lot of gorgeous bluebirds in one spot where we walked.  I ♥ bluebirds!

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This is sort of a random picture.-Allison (walk, bluebirds) 011A little brown moth sitting on a little brown leaf

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-Allison (walk, bluebirds) 038We also found some salamanders under logs and such in the woods.

-Allison (walk, bluebirds) 040Awww, isn’t he cute? (Sorry for the not-so-good picture, but I wanted you to see him☺)

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We also found good-smelling things, not just good-looking ones.  This is pineapple weed and it smells deliciously fruity.

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Does anyone know what this is called? I call it peppermint weed because it smells really minty!  I know it looks really ugly, but it smells sooo good.  I wish I could send you the smell!

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Fungus among us!-Allison (walk, bluebirds) 028I took this picture laying down in the woods with my camera pointing up.  I like the interesting angle on this one.

Which is your favorite picture?



Make A Terrarium

So, we have this salamander named Petunia as a pet,

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and she lives in a 10 gallon glass tank.  Since I love to make terrariums and miniature gardens, I decided to make something similar for her to live in.  She now lives in a terrarium.  Why make a terrarium?  Terrariums are fun, inexpensive(or free!), and make lovely decorations.

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Now for the do-it-yourself part. Terrariums are very customizable, but you’ll at least need: some sort of soil, a container, and some plants.  Some other nice things to add are:  some sort of water, (refer to the picture of Petunia in her pond)

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and pretty stones.

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You could also add a little house or cabin,

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and what about a little clay bird to occupy the “trees”?

There are all kinds of possibilities.  A desert terrarium?  A rainforest one? Be creative!

A terrarium is pretty easy to take care of.  You basically just have to water the plants.  Moss can be harder to keep green (at least for me), but it really adds a lush atmosphere to the terrarium if you take care of it.

So there you go!  Now you know how to make your own terrarium, so get out there and have some fun!

Until next time…


A Beautiful Hike in the Mountains


We recently went on a hike with some friends.  We decided to hike the Dark Hollow Falls trail at Skyline Drive.  It was beautiful.  The waterfall was gorgeous, and along trail we found lots of interesting things. We kids especially loved the little creek running along the trail, and we could hardly be torn away from it to keep on the trail.  Along the creek we found some mini waterfalls which were quite pretty too.

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We also found flowers,

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Several pretty ferns,

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Teeny tiny mushrooms,

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Lots of lush green moss,

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And some interesting creatures such as… a millipede,

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A newt (or maybe it’s a salamander?),

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And a snail.

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We finally made it to the waterfall.

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The little creek that we had played in earlier in the hike turned to a roaring torrent of water.  The rocks around the waterfall were mossy and green.  If you leaned close enough, you could feel the spray of the water on your face.  We paused for some refreshment on some rocks near the waterfall.


On the return journey, we stopped at a small pool along the trail.  The kids had lots of fun wading in the (freezing) water, and skipping and throwing rocks in the pool.  It was fun to see the big splashes the rocks made.

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Just as everyone had finished putting their socks and shoes back on, Jeff’s water-bottle decided to go on a sea journey.

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Of course, Jeff had to take off his socks and shoes again to get it.  With the water bottle returned to its proper place, we resumed our hike.

Near the beginning of the trail, the kids stopped to catch salamanders and crayfish at the creek.  Well, we tried to catch salamanders and crayfish, but the little sneakers kept getting away.  After the hike, we had supper at our friends’ house.  It was a great end to a great day.