Archive: October 2014

Autumn Wood ~ Shrooms


Chelsea’s note: Donna has a fall mini-series for us!  Applause!  Look forward to beautiful pics as well as creative and informative writing!

Posted by Donna

Walks in autumn wood nearly always include the sights and smells of Boletus edulism, also known as terrestrial fungus, a.k.a., mushrooms.

Yes, these little fellows. Everywhere I looked, they just seemed to pop up.

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Sometimes in clusters…..

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….and sometimes in pairs….

These “toadstools” were so interesting-looking, that I had to photograph their silhouette. Look what I would’ve missed had I not gotten down to their level and studied their anatomy!

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But I got a little curious to know more about what I was looking at so I googled “teaching kids about mushrooms” and here’s what showed up:

(A long time ago), a few eukaryote cells developed into multi-celled creatures. Some of them became animals, and some became plants, and others became mushrooms and the other funguses like yeast. So mushrooms are not either animals or plants, though they are more closely related to animals than they are to plants.

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There are many different kinds of mushrooms, but most mushrooms grow in more or less the same way. Most of the cells of the fungus actually stay underground, where they form a long, wide net of cells something like plant roots (they look like black shoelaces). These underground nets of cells can live a long time, even thousands of years.

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Like other eukaryote creatures, mushrooms use mitosis to grow bigger, and meiosis to produce tiny one-celled spores. The wind blows these spores away from the mother plant so that new mushrooms can grow in new soil.

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Most of the spores land on rocks or in water and don’t manage to grow at all. But when a spore lands on dirt or a decaying plant, it begans to eat the molecules in the dirt or the wood and sends a network of cells down into the ground. The network of cells is only a few cells thick, so it doesn’t need a circulatory system or a digestive system. When the network gets big enough, it sends up more mushrooms out of the ground, and these mushrooms produce spores, and the spores blow away to make new mushroom colonies.

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Some funguses have (developed) partnerships with ferns, which (happened) only a little later, so that each of them depends on the other to stay alive.

To keep from being eaten by animals or plants, many kinds of mushrooms have developed poisons so that nothing will want to eat them. It’s hard to tell which mushrooms are poisonous, so you shouldn’t eat any wild mushroom unless your parents say it is okay.

The biggest shroom I found all summer was in the daisy garden and rivaled them for bloom beauty, don’t you agree? It was like a giant flowerhead itself.

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And we all know, all good things must come to an end; this big fella (pictured above earlier) lasted almost 5 weeks and after using up all its mitosis, its life ended for now.

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And speaking of beauty….

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If your cowkids are curious to see more pictures, – Go to: http://scienceforkids.kidipede.com/biology/mushrooms/#sthash.bXeat54o.dpuf

{Mushroom beauty compliments of McCall, Idaho and Washington, D.C.}


Cowcamp


posted by Chelsea

Cowcamp.

While I look forward to the day when our whole family can saddle up with daddy…

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and ride off into the sunset the brush with the rest of the crew…

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I’ll humbly admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the time the kids and I spent at camp this year.  I sat by the fire…

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I finished a couple of books.  We drank tea…

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I finished the book I’ve been reading to the kids and started another. I played with the kids.  I let them do messy things, like paint…

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and play with playdough…

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Cooper worked hard, tying stuff up…

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and he helped with artwork…

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The kids played together on the various “playground equipment” around camp…

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And seemed to enjoy eachother’s company…

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The four of us even took over the painfully delightful job of finishing off the last of the crème brulee…

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The weather was beautiful.  The crew was delightful.  While there are still cows left to be found and Buck will be gathering well into November , it’s a work in progress.  And until “someday” comes and we all ride, this will have to do!


Wordless Wednesday


posted by Chelsea

I’ve seen other people do “Wordless Wednesday” on their blogs and I thought I’d participate this week.  The other blogs don’t use words, just pictures.  I’m such a rebel!  Look at all these words! I’m going crazy with words! I can’t stop!  Actually, I wanted to participate because I don’t have time to write a big ol’ post about our big ol’ weekend, but I did have time to download pictures and edit ’em :-) So… now I’ll share ’em.  And I’ll try not to talk about ’em.  No promises.

I do need to say a couple things.  First of all… we got to go to a homecoming football game on Friday night.  Buck gathered cows and moved them then rushed home, threw on some clean-ish clothes and we zipped up to watch Havin be the star of the show and lead his team to victory in their homecoming game, winning 72-0.  Seriously.

Now skip over to Sunday.  (Remember, no time for a buncha words!) Our friends Collin & Jessie…

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took the bull by the horns…

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(wasn’t that nice of Cooper to demonstrate? I guess technically that’s by the face, but we understand the demonstration, right?!) and put on a junior rodeo just like everyone has been saying “should happen” for the last several years.

I woke up a wee bit on the grouchy side of the bed because I didn’t feel like getting everyone ready and hauling everyone and their horse to town, but I put on a semi-happy face knowing it was probably going sure to be worth the effort.  And lo and behold! It was SO! MUCH! FUN! And we were SO! GLAD! WE! WENT!  Seriously.

Lucy,

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who is bound and determined to catch stuff with her rope, made 5 out of 6 shots in the dummy roping.

Katelyn,

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who is bound and determined to make-her-horse-go-where-she-wants-to-go, walk-trotted the barrels with Daddy’s help and then spent the rest of the day in the practice arena making TJ go where she wanted to go (!!) by golly…

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Then because I’m being short with words (WORDLESS Wednesday, remember?!) I’ll quickly explain that Havin’s dad is our farrier and he needed to reset some shoes on some horses.  So… he drove an extra 60 miles to shoe horses at the junior rodeo… and that way we got to see their family and his daughter Heidi got to be in the rodeo!  Look at her go….

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And her big brothers hung out with our little kids…

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Hi Havin!

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Hi Hogan!

In addition to having a really fun time in their events, the kids also got to see friends…

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And watch them compete, too…

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And run around in the pasture together…

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Look at them go!

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I’d like to know what this conversation was about…

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And basically we all had an all around fab-dab-u-lous day.  We got home in time to hang up our ropes and our hats…

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And get back in bed.  On the not grouchy side.

So there you go! I guess I found the time to commentate.  Just know I could have said more.  A lot more.  WordLESS is relative.  Less words than their could have been!  I think I probably won’t make a habit out of participating in days without words.  Not even less of them.  It’s just not me.  I mean look at me go!  564 words.  That’s what WordPress just told me.  I guess that’s LESS than 565. “WordLESS than 565 Wednesday”… I see a trend in the making.