Friday, November 2, 2007

Alumni and Family visits

Last week, as I mentioned before, S's folk came up from Florida for the Alumni weekend and to visit. We enjoyed having them and as usual, the time was too short. They are so kind about babysitting for us and we had some time to "date", and to shop and do errands. They're both doing well and Mom is getting around well after her fall in July where she broke both her left knee cap and wrist.

On Sabbath afternoon we were treated to a hammer dulcimer concert, then an organ eveningsong with Sietze de Vries on the organ. He also gave a full concert the previous Tuesday night. He is from Holland (married a South African), and is an absolutely stunning organist. His improvisations are very creative and beautiful. His favourite form is the fugue. His playing takes one back to Bach or Buxtehude's time when most organists improvised a lot of the time. I was lucky enough to be able to attend the improvisation masterclass he gave on Thursday evening and got some good ideas.

We've had some beautiful weather including getting some good rains last week. The fall colours are still gorgeous - I think our peak will be later than usual this year. We've spent several hours this week digging in the garden, C and I. Mostly just for fun, but also to find Japanese Beetle grubs to feed to the birds. Might as well do something useful with them because when I catch the beetles in the summer, they go straight into a jar with petrol. C digs around and then rakes everything smooth again. We also came across a large toad buried in the ground. Fortunately I wasn't using much force when I hit him. We buried him again close to the flowering quince where we had found one last year and hopefully he'll get over the shock soon. We also uncovered a pupa of a moth and other interesting critters.

The other day C was out rather a long time and when I went to find her, she was closely studying a large preying mantis. We fed it a grub and watched as he gnawed on it. (I actually felt sorry for the grub as he didn't bother to kill it first!) Since we are studying about insects anyway, we took this opportunity to looks at its mandibles, compound eyes, pulps and antennae etc. Thankfully he was large and we didn't need a magnifying glass. He was at least 4 1/2 to 5 inches (9 or 10cm) long. C now says her favourite thing is gardening "more than language, more than math or anything!" Well, helloohh!

I didn't get pictures of the garden critters this time but in the summer we found a rabbit's nest in the dog's pen of all places! It was well camoflaged and had 3 little nestlings in it. We took photos so I'm including a few of those here. (In case you're wondering, the dog was kept elsewhere during the time it took for them to leave the nest.)

Their little eyes aren't even open yet

Only a day or two later they're ready to leave the nest 
The mother kept them covered with grass (here we've uncovered them for the picture)
Our other news this week is that we might be getting a "real" piano on Sunday! Saw it advertised a couple Sunday's ago at the flea market. Maybe we'll have a pic for you next time. C is so excited because not only are we getting this piano but she is going to be able to have the electric one in her room! Joy of joys!

And last but not least, a big Happy Birthday for Aunty K on the 31st! We love you and miss you and wish we had been there to share the fun and of course, the cake :-)!

1 comment:

  1. Just so you know . . . people really do read your blog!