Saturday, May 9, 2015

Week Ending 10 May 2015

I thought this had been a fairly mundane week but when I write it down it turns out we were out and about a fair bit.

On Monday Miss 14 and I went swimming. Mr 17 wasn't still in bed recovering from his weekend camp! We were there for a couple of hours and actually had the entire pool to ourselves for about half that time. I especially enjoyed soaking in the spa pool at the end. Monday night was our monthly bird group meeting, featuring a talk and photos from one of our members about a couple of wildlife trips he'd made to the United States. I loved the way he included particular details that he thought would appeal to specific members,such as information on Dr Julia Platt and her work in Monterey Bay especially for Miss 14.

On Thursday the weather was glorious and, inspired by this post from Jessica over at Teachable Moments, I told Miss 14 to hurry up and get dressed since we were going birding - despite all the bookwork that needed to get done. We headed north to a small estuary (probably my favourite local birding spot).

The sun warming our skin, the smell of the sea behind us and a great variety of birds preening, bathing, searching for food and otherwise going about their lives all made for a wonderful morning. The highlight of the day was this Black Stilt, one of many of our endangered natives.


Friday was dominated by caring for Mr 22 who had oral surgery. I spent the morning driving him to and from his appointment and then he had to spend the rest of the day with us. He wasn't allowed to be alone and all his flatmates were busy working and/or attending class. It was nice to have the whole family back under the roof for a night - even if Mr 22 was somewhat subdued. I spent a lot of time fetching ice and pills, and preparing soft food!

Saturday was the Global Big Day in support of global bird conservation . Naturally Miss 14 and I had to do our bit - any excuse for a day's birding! We were out and about for about six hours during another great autumn day plus another hour at night.

The highlight for us was the first Cattle Egret of the year. There was a group of three feeding on the ground with these White-faced Herons.

But the cattle egret were very photo-shy. Every time Miss 14 got the camera focused on them they took to the air.

At one lake stop Miss 14 spent ages trying (unsuccessfully) to capture all the Welcome Swallows swooping and soaring over the water as they fed. If you look closely you can see a small dot of white in the background, slightly to the right of centre. That's our first Great Egret of the year!

We were hoping to spot the Little Egret that has returned after spending the summer elsewhere. Sadly, it proved elusive - but that just gives us a reason to go back again.

In amongst all this some (but not all) of the planned bookwork got completed.
Miss 14 began working with adjectives in Latin, looked at thermal energy for physics (she's opted to stick with her existing textbook for now but might try some other resources I have when she moves to light and sound) and endured some lessons related to polynomials in maths. In geography they've moved on to South America. In literature she's finally finished To Kill A Mockingbird (I'm trying to find a movie version but none of our libraries have it) and we moved into the third act of Romeo and Juliet. I continue to be impressed by the SmartPass audio guide we're using). Art History dropped off the radar this week so we'll have to get to it first next week. Of course there were the usual twelve hours in the gym training and coaching.

Mr 17 has a less exciting week than his sister. He took on a few extra shifts at work, continued to look at Nigeria's political system, sat and passed his first economics exams and plodded along with his other subjects. Tonight he's off to a Jamboree on the Trail event, an annual event for Scouts worldwide to hike together.

Linking up with the Weekly Wrap-Up.

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