I’m back after a round with Covid.

Hello again! Sorry I fell off the map there for a while, but my husband and I came down with Covid the same day. UGH! While we didn’t get seriously sick like some folks have, we were definitely miserable and were ready for it to go away long before it did. We are still feeling the crazy tired stuff but slowly improving! I’m hoping to be back in the saddle now here on the blog.

Yesterday was our last day of quarantine and we both had cabin fever. Time to get out of the house while still keeping our distance from people. We ordered “curbside to go” food from a local restaurant, drove through a local coffee shop drive through for some yummy drinks and then went looking at some of our favorite nature spots in our Jeep. Oh yes, Rusty, our Labrador Retriever came along. 🙂 Believe me, he had cabin fever too! LOL

Clear Fork Reservoir is not far from our house so that was our first stop. There is a small Marina there and a boat ramp. We were surprised to actually see a couple of people out in a boat. The trees are, of course, without their leaves, so it wasn’t as pretty as it is in the spring and summer, but the fresh air felt amazing!

Part of the reservoir water is thawed now, but there was still some ice in places. We got a chuckle out of watching some birds running around on the ice. We also dreamed about when the weather will be warm enough again to take our boat out for a spin. 😉

Knox Lake is not far from us either and so we spent a little time driving around that area and finding the different boat ramps. Then we googled where the Knox Lake dam is because its a little tricky to find. (Aaaand Google was wrong so that made it even more interesting!) But we were eventually successful!

There isn’t much to DO at the dam, but again, it was just nice to feel some fresh air and get out of the house for a bit.

We find it interesting to explore the area we live in and almost always find something we haven’t seen before. So even if you need to stay in your vehicle like we did, you can find something to explore. 🙂

Be an Explorer Like Christopher Columbus

Happy Columbus Day! How many times have you heard the saying, “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue”? 😉 I know, I know…now there is a lot of disagreement about what Christopher Columbus did or didn’t do, but one thing I think we can safely say is he was an explorer. So to celebrate Columbus Day today, let’s help the kids become explorers!

The first thing an explorer needs is a cool hat, right? 😉 I’m going to show you how to make a cool explorer’s hat out of paper. I am using a piece of construction paper so you can see more clearly how to make it, but you might want to use something bigger like newspaper. Just depends on how big the person’s head is that you are making it for.

To start, I got a piece of green construction paper.

Here’s how to make your hat. Fold it in half the long way.

Open it back up.

Now fold it in half the other way.

Leaving the paper folded, fold in one top corner of the paper to the middle line so it looks like a triangle.

Now do the same thing on the other side.

Fold one side of the paper’s straight edge up so the fold is at the bottom of the triangles.

Turn the paper over.

And fold the other side up the same way.

Your hat is done! Pull it open at the bottom folded edge.

This little guy was happy to be a model for your new explorer’s hat. 🙂

As I already mentioned, you can use different sizes of paper to make different sizes of hats. Here is the one I made with construction paper, one made with a single sheet of newspaper and one made with a full sheet of newspaper.

For the full sheet of newspaper size, you might need to let your triangles not meet in the middle so that you still have paper left over to fold the edges up.

Barbie and Ken thought it would be fun to be explorers too!

What else does an explorer need to go exploring? Maybe a spyglass? Let’s make one of those too! All you need is an empty paper towel or toilet paper roll, a piece of paper and markers or crayons.

Cover the tube with the construction paper if it has a lot of glue marks on it like this one does. Use glue or tape to hold it in place. (I used tape because it doesn’t need drying time.)

Let your kids decorate their spyglass with markers or crayons.

You are now ready to be an explorer!! What does an explorer do? Well, they put their explorer hats on and walk around the house or outside and they look through their spyglass to see what they can spy! They use their imagination to discover a new land. Be careful because you never know what kind of strange animals you might find!

Also watch out for things like carpet that might have quicksand or lava! You might need to jump from rug to rug in order to not get sucked in! 😉 I hope your new hat and spyglass will make exploring a ton of fun!

Saturday Exploration

This is a great time of year for exploring outside! There are lots of “treasures” to be found! Rusty (our dog) and I went on an expedition to see what we could find in the area where we live. Rusty found a lot of sticks, which is the part that interests him! 😉

While we usually find dandelions in the spring, if you look all around you can still find one or two of them adding some bright yellow to the landscape.

We are lucky enough to have a huge pine tree on our property and we found plenty of small pine cones. I brought them inside to let them dry thoroughly so they can be used in future craft projects. (Stay tuned!)

There is a small oak tree here too, so we also found some little acorns. We added them to our “future crafting” stockpile.

Do you know what these things are? Here’s a hint: they are found on the common milkweed plant.

Yep, they are milkweed seed pods. Inside of them are the seeds for growing more milkweed plants. Here’s what they look like when they are opened:

They are pretty cool looking, aren’t they? We are trying to save up some milkweed seeds and plant them this fall so we’ll have more milkweed plants for our Monarch butterflies and caterpillars next season.

Keep your eyes open for flowers! Even if they are actually considered to be weeds, they can be so pretty! Here’s a few we found:

I don’t know what the name of this weed is but those little tassels it has are so soft and fun to hold.

Toadstools are popping up all over the place! But remember, these are NOT SAFE TO EAT!! Can you imagine a little fairy hiding under it to keep dry when it rains? 😉

I hope you will go on your own exploration and see if you can find these things where you live and perhaps some other cool stuff! I’d love it if you’d share what you find with us here! 🙂