Thursday, November 19, 2009

Didjeridoos, Dissection, and Delightful Hummingbirds

SO it's been a while since I last posted. We have been in beautiful Santa Paula for 2 months now! We have been busy trying to get the house unpacked and set up, while settling back in to school, work, and a new place. Everyone has been asking for pics of the new house, so we have a few. Some of them are posted now, but ran into glitches trying to post the others. As soon as it is resolved, I will post the rest.

We are loving our neighborhood! Most everyone on the street has been here for 20+ years, and have watched each others' kids grow up and move on. From the feedback we've gotten, everyone has been excited to see the kids riding their bikes up and down the street, as it brings back memories of their own kids doing the same exact thing. Halloween was a great excuse to get out and meet all the wonderful people on our street- we really feel blessed to be here. We have the unique distinction of waking every morning to the sound of a didjeridoo! For those of you who are not international-musically inclined, the didjeridoo (sometimes spelled didgeridoo) is an aboriginal musical instrument that sounds like a deep, low hum. Interesting. Our neighbor has taken this instrument up for some reason, and one of these days I will get around to inquiring as to the inspiration behind such an odd choice.

School has been amazing this year. We have all been enjoying the things we are learning, and have gotten off to a smooth start. This last week in Science, we were learning about birds, a perfect topic to study, as our new neighborhood is full of feathered friends. We ordered owl pellets, which is what the owl regurgitates after it eats. It contains all the undigested parts of its meal, like bones, fur, feathers and the like. There were a few squeamish parties before we started, but once the gloves went on, curiosity won out, and we had a fun time trying to identify skulls and bones...gruesome!

On a sweeter note, the other part of our study was getting two hummingbird feeders. We have been observing our didjeridoo neighbor's house, and they have a few feeders by their front window, and a big tree in their front yard. The tree is home to multiple humming birds (a very low estimate would be 10-15), who fight over the feeders and make all sorts of racket. We have one over our kitchen window and one right outside our sliding door to the back yard. The one to the back yard is so close that while we are doing school, you can actually hear the hum from their wings as they come to feed. Mini, flying didjeridoos, if you will! The kids will also be making wild bird feeders out of recycled bottles, and it will be fun to see how many different birds we can attract. And catch. Even as I'm writing this, the kids have set up a milk crate trap with cat food as bait, and a stick propping it all up. Poor birds. :)

We have a persimmon tree in our back yard, and I'm trying out a few different recipes. If any of them are exceptionally good, I'll post- in case you have access to some ripe persimmons. :) Love to all!