Newton’s Cradle

Monday, July 26th, 2021

 

 

 

 

 

For a good explanation of how Newton’s cradle really works, watch this video:

The Island in Winter

Friday, February 26th, 2021

 

We walk to the island. The children take turns pulling.

 

 

Akiva does not need to drink much water in winter: he eats the snowballs from his fleece mittens. When I notice his once-white chewing gum has become pink, I realize he has side-stepped the food-chain of microplastics consumption assumed in oceanic plastics pollution studies and gone directly to the source. I wonder how many thousands of plastic microfibers he has consumed on this walk. I feel helpless.

 

 

At the island, the tire swing, high above the river in summer, hangs low above the snow.

Iris steps onβ€”

 

 

β€”swing!

 

 

Akiva, shorter rounder and nearly as heavy, is more timid on the swing.

Iris pushes him gently.

 

 

He smiles bravely.

 

The Chained Tree

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021

We went for a walk in the snowy woods.

 

 

 

 

We found a chained tree.

 

 

All Fall Down

Friday, September 11th, 2020

I took my old cameraβ€” of the sort that only takes old photosβ€” on a walk alone into the tall woods.

 

 

 

There I found a circle of children singing and old song and dancing in circles.

 

 

 

When I approached more closely, the children, the circle, and the old camera disappeared.

 

 

 

I found myself as an old woman, alone again, with a new camera and nothing more to photograph.

 

Akiva’s Piano Recital

Wednesday, September 9th, 2020

 

 

 

Click to view full screen:

 

Squirrel Traps! (& other things to worry about on the 6th anniversary of our wedding)

Tuesday, July 14th, 2020

To celebrate six years of being wed, we decided to take a walk in the woods. Or perhaps we decided to take a walk in the woods & what do you know, it was our anniversary! Either way, there we were sitting down eating a snack when Martin fell asleep. Mom believes this tendency is located on the Y chromosome.

 

 

 

While he was resting, Iris invented squirrel traps. As you might suspect, squirrel traps are meant to trap squirrels. Anything meant to trap squirrels should somehow employ nuts. It is quite possible that the idea was inspired by a video that Dad sent us by Mark Rober, “Building the Perfect Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder.” Iris’s resources were a bit more limited than Mr. Rober’s. She dug a hole with a large stick, surrounded it by small sticks, placed a leaf on the bottom, and would bait the leaf at the proper time. This particular squirrel trap, just so you are aware, is not meant to physically trap a squirrel. It is meant to mentally trap their focus for a moment, distracting them from whatever they were concentrating on, enticing them into the hole to eat the nut. Then the squirrel would be free to go.

 

 

 

After much longer than you might think it would take to engineer such a trap, the work was done. Either because she figured it wouldn’t take much to distract a squirrel or because she didn’t particularly want to share her snack, Iris chose the smallest nut she could find then woke Martin for the celebratory baiting of the trap.

 

 

 

When we reached the place of the grandfather trees, Iris resumed building. First, she experimented with building tripods. She tried very hard. What she learned is that it is difficult to lean three sticks together and have them stay just so.

 

 

 

Meanwhile, Akiva continued to play toss-the-spike with an iron spike that we found in an old junk pile. He had been playing it the whole way’s down the path since the junk pile. It’s played like this: toss the spike. Walk forward. Pick up the spike. Repeat. Usually, the spike lands sideways, bounces, then spins.

 

 

 

In this photograph, I have managed to capture the moment the spike landed point-down in the ground. Pine needles splash like water drops.

 

 

 

While this is going on, I play with the panorama feature on my camera. I have never used it before. Upon developing the photos, I see that, when taking a horizontal panorama, it would be a good idea to have a long depth of field. My favorite panorama captures Martin once again enjoying the activity of woodland resting.

 

 

 

Having given up on building a tripod, Iris built a common four-sided gnome house with a bark roof. She chose a nice forked stick to set off the front door so that the gnomes would know how to enter properly.

 

 

 

Finally, I took some portraits of my children. Mom says I should just take some nice photos of them now and again. Aside from the days when I take lots and lots of photos at once, I hardly seem to be taking many photos at all lately. But the woods are lovely for portraits. Here are some regular-ol’ photos of my kiddos, so’s you can go on and admire their cuteness. Or at least so I can admire their cuteness. That’s why I take photos, really: not for you: for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We walk upstream from the school

Monday, May 25th, 2020

We walk down through the school woods then turn left, back up the hill, where the stream goes under the culvert.

The children practice crossing and re-crossing a log.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many people footprints here. There are also raccoon footprints, ‘possom footprints, mouse footprints, and various bird footprints. Akiva finds snails to be the easiest animal to track and spends some time judging a snail race.

 

 

 

 

Upstream, we find many bones of a long-dead horse. Iris takes home some teeth.

Akiva throws rocks in the stream.

Friday, April 24th, 2020

I find it interesting that he throws rocks with his left hand:

he does everything else I can think of with his right hand.

 

  

Hiking Friday with Grandfather Tree

Friday, February 21st, 2020

Above the overlook to the island there are two grandfather trees. You will recognize them. They are two of my favorite trees in the forest. What is the cause that there are two, standing on a high point, with no other trees of comparable size for miles around? What was this place like when they were young? 

 

 

 

 

Above the overlook to the island there are two children. You will recognize them. They are my two favorite children in the forest. What is the cause that they are young and I am old, with no children of comparable size for miles around? What will this place be like when they are old?

 

 

Walking with Friends

Friday, January 24th, 2020

This Friday, we went walking with friends.

We walked home in the dark under a clear night sky with Venus shining brightly above.