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)|
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 :-)!