Friday, October 02, 2015

Breakfast on Dartmoor

Two posts in one day! Amazing I know, but I just had to share our breakfast on Dartmoor.
Up on Dartmoor the scenery stretches as far as the eye can see

Yesterday afternoon one of my daughters and I decided to see if we could find the Dartmoor walk which is right across the road from our home. It's quite a steep walk along a rather stony country lane past farmers fields, but once we got to the top of the track it opened up onto the Moor - AMAZING!
Views of our small town half way up to the Moors
So beautiful!
 Really - it just took our breath away. It's stark beauty and quietness was just wonderful. We decided that we simply had to have breakfast on Dartmoor, we want to see this magnificent bit of the world in all seasons, in all weather and at different times of the day. So breakfast to start off our relationship with this place seemed fitting.
The colours up here have really inspired me in my knitting! My mind is full of inspiration and ideas after being up here.

Apart from it's rugged beauty, what I love about this place is how you can see for mile, we can catch the glistening of the ocean on the horizon.

I don't really do 'selfies' but we thought we simply had to this morning :)

Heading back down after our breakfast.
I loved how all you can hear is the wind in your ears, the bleating of sheep in the distance, the birds chattering in the bracken and nothing else. It's so peaceful up there.

I love how the sheep look at you curiously as you pass by, farmers are able to let their livestock roam the moor.

As we were heading back down off the moor we spotted this beautiful bird of prey swooping, hovering then swooping again. Magnificent! I so badly wanted to be able to photograph him properly but this was the best I could do without a tripod. He was might quick on the wing!

What a wonderful start to our day, we all feel alive and happy. Amazing what a bit of exercise and drinking in of our natural surrounds can do for your outlook. Today we are going to pop down to our information centre and see if we can buy an ordnance survey map so we can explore the moors allot more.

Have a wonderful weekend all - I think that we are in for another lovely sunny one here in England :)

Out and About in Devon

This past weekend we spent two wonderful days exploring our new county. I thought that I would share a few pictures from our explorations, I'll start with Sunday's trip to Salcombe. What a cute little harbor town. 

Lots of quaint streets and lovely shops and a lovely harbor.

We enjoyed a lunch of fish and chips - you simply have to have fish and chips when you are in a town so closely linked to the sea :)

Lunch was followed up with ice-creams of course.

I loved this stack of lobster pots on the harbor wall.

As you can see we had glorious weather too! Just a perfect day in every way.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

On This Lovely Autumn Day

Oh my goodness we have had some glorious sunshine for the last little while! For almost a week now we have had clear sunny skies, cool but comfortable temperatures and a brisk breeze which coaxes the autumn leaves from their branches.

Yesterday we took a short walk from our home, across the train track, and up onto Dartmoor. It was just heavenly.

Did you catch the super-moon this month? Unfortunately I missed the eclipse but I got a few great shots of this months full moon by night and day.

Today has been wonderfully productive in my home. I'm completely up to date with all my laundry and linen {yay}, I tidied up and re-organised the school room as well as unpacked all my yarn onto a shelf. I can now see what I've got and have lots of space on the shelves to fill up {like I need an excuse to buy more yarn lol}

I baked a dozen banana muffins, six have been kept out and six have been popped into the freezer. I always find that my baking goes a bit stale after a day or two and really we are not going to be eating a dozen muffins in a day. By freezing them I can take them out when we are ready for something sweet.

And I already have tonight's supper on the go - I do love my Crockpot! Tonight it is spinach and feta lasagna.

Just to top off this beautiful autumn day I had a yarn delivery this morning. I'm joining in the Shetland Wool Weeks Ravelry groups KAL (knit along) this month. The pattern they have chosen is just gorgeous! The instant I saw it I just knew I had to cast on for it.

I'm so loving this mild autumn days - life is good and beautiful :)

Happy Thursday to you all...

Friday, September 25, 2015

Nature Study With Teens: Autumn Leaves

During the autumn the attention of the children should be attracted to the leaves by their gorgeous colors. ~ Anna Botsford Comstock, 'The Handbook of Nature Study' pg 622

For the past week or so we have noticed a yellow hue to the trees in our garden. All of a sudden (or so it seems) yesterday there were distinct patches of yellow within our tree that were not there on Wednesday - honest :) 

Around our village some trees are turning before others. Some keep to yellow hues while a few are showing reds coming through - oh my! How I relish this season.

I asked the girls if they remembered why the leaves change colours and I got half an answer. This told me that they are not clearly understanding the chemistry of why leaves change colour. Now I'm really not a chemistry buff but thankfully there are very clever people who have written books and made wonderful YouTube videos explaining the wonders of this natural annual occurrence. 

My focus for this lesson was Lesson 172 in Anna Botsford Comstocks 'The Handbook of Nature Study'. We are embarking on a year long tree study as advocated by Charlotte Mason. We have a spectacular tree in our garden that creates quite a picture from our schoolroom. Autumn is a lovely time to start a year long tree study. We begin with watching the leaves slowly change colour, in our home today we started off our lesson watching this video that is aimed at older students and focusing more on the chemistry rather than a shortened explanation which is suited to younger learners. 

After we watched the video together we had a brief discussion so that I could make sure that they understood what had been said. We discussed our year-long study of our tree and some ideas that I had for this study. One of those ideas which has been milling about in my head has been to photograph our tree each season so that we can put all our photographs together at the end of our year and remember what it looked like throughout the year.

For our autumn focus we are going to do the same sort of photographic challenge. As suggested in The Handbook, we have noted the first day that we noticed the leaves on our tree changing. Each week we will take a photograph of our tree right up to the point when all the leaves have fallen. We will also note down this date. We will be able to see from start to finish how long it took for our tree to change and loose it's leaves. I've created a seasonal tree study board on Pinterest to track out changes.

We need to identify this tree soon. I've had a look at my field guide but sometimes it's not as easy as it looks!

 I'm thinking that it might be part of the birch family? If you know please do leave a comment, I would appreciate any insight you may have to offer.

Anyhoo, that wraps up this weeks nature study, wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Little Autumnal Equinox Moments...

Goodbye Summer - Hello Autumn!

Today is the autumn/vernal equinox - equal day and night and for some the official usher in of autumn, my most favourite season just in case you didn't know already lol ;)

My front door finally has it's autumn wreath up so it's an official autumnal welcome when you arrive at my front door  :)

And right on cue the weather around here seems to be rather cool in the mornings and evenings, so we {with much excitement} lit up the fire this week - the first fire of the season.

Last week and this week we have had some unsettled weather - lots of low pressures scooting across the UK at the moment. Fortunately although we have had lots of rain we also have some sunshine each day, so I make sure that I have washing done and ready to hang up just as the rain clouds are chased away by the sun. Yesterday morning I was coming down the stairs and the early morning sunlight was soft and watery, just so pretty. I caught sight of my neighbours home one street over glistening in this soft light and just had to capture the sight. It's one of those small 'happy's' that I look for.

This morning we started off with beautiful blue sky's with clouds scudding along. The cloud has since built up quite a bit but again - take the small happy moments and treasure them. Be happy in them, it leads to a contented life :)

Happy Autumn Equinox all...