We here in the South are simply not accustomed to frozen precipitation. We don’t have any of the necessary gear: no de-icing anything, no snow boots, no snow shovels, nothin’. In fact, my children don’t even have any real gloves or mittens. (They did receive a token pair of “convertible” mittens in their Christmas stockings, but I thought they’d end up in the dress-up bin, not warming snow-ball rolling fingers!) In a weather event that has been called “The Bread and Milk Blizzard of ’11” (if you’re not from the South, you might not get this–I doubt the mere mention of the s word empties grocery store shelves of bread and milk anywhere but here), we received eight inches of snow Sunday night and into early Monday morning. All schools and many businesses (including the institutions for which both Steady Eddie and I work–joy!) cancelled or closed before we even went to bed on Sunday night, so we knew we had Monday to play. The beauty of homeschooling is that we can indeed have our cake and eat it, too, so we went ahead with our lessons on Monday morning so as not to derail our plan to be through with this year’s official book learning before the temperatures heat up outside this spring so much that we are stuck indoors. We had some snow cream for a mid-morning snack, and then after lunch we all–the DLM included–took off outside to enjoy the whiteness.
I asked the girls to pay attention to the colors in our whitewashed world, as Barb has encouraged us to do. The girls were so excited to be out and about in this bounty, the fourth largest snowfall on record for our city, that I kept a running dialogue (sometimes a monologue!) of all the colors I saw. Although there was nothing formal about our study, I love how even our informal nature studies have opened my eyes to the beauty around me. Judging from the times the girls have noticed things–birds, in particular–out of the blue, it’s having a similar effect on them. We decided to walk around the block in our neighborhood to see what we could see.
I noticed many, many different shades of green. Our across-the-street neighbor has lots of pine trees in her yard, so that’s what met our gaze as we exited our front door.
I love these pictures of the pine boughs with snow caught in them. Beautiful!
My eyes began to notice other colors besides green as we walked. I noticed these berries (?) on a crepe myrtle.
These ornamental grasses in another neighbors’ yard really stood out against the whiteness.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love trees? I find them particularly beautiful when viewed in relief against a winter sky. I noticed all the many different shades of brown and grey/silver that the bark on the trees in our neighborhood display.
This is my favorite tree of all, in any season. Isn’t it perfect?
The colors of our winter world are white, green, brown, and grey, in all their various shades. I noticed the grey of the winter sky, lovely against the steeple of the church nearby.
We had a good walk. I think each time we experience nature mindfully, we raise our awareness level a notch. We returned home, and the DLM and I went back inside the warm house. Steady Eddie and the girls played outside a little longer. They built a wall behind which to hide as they pelted each other with snowballs.
These cozy days of everyone being home (which admittedly aren’t much different than our normal day-to-day existence, but we have enjoyed having Steady Eddie here with us!) came to an end today, since Steady Eddie had to return to work. I am so glad we had this brush with winter weather (which many of you think nothing of, it’s so commonplace). I don’t think my girls will ever forget it!
This was my attempt at a Winter Wednesday challenge with two very excited children. Since winter weather set in (long before the snow arrived–it has been unusually cold this winter already) and with all the holiday busy-ness, we haven’t gotten outside much. I hope to change that soon and resume our Outdoor Hour Challenges. I am also working on a humongous Read Aloud Thursday post for tomorrow, which will be all about–you guessed it–snow books. Be sure to come back and check it out!
Oh, one more thing–my friend Wanda, who blogs at Faith, Folklore, and Friends, posted some lovely pictures of the snow yesterday. I particularly love the picture of the cardinal that she posted, especially since the pair that often visit our backyard flew away before I had a chance to attempt a picture of their crimson loveliness against the white.