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Holiday Highlights: Tame Fish, Wild Blackberries, and a Frog Rescue

This week was full of highlights: 

Miss 12 and Miss 10 each worked on Miss 17’s dairy farm for a day and hugely enjoyed cleaning the calf barn, as well as being spoiled by their older sister.

We all worked together to make 14 quarts of pickled beans.  Miss 17 did the actual pickling, and the rest of us did all the prep work:  picking, washing, trimming, and cutting beans, as well as peeling garlic.


A boa constrictor and other reptiles visited the library program that the Little Misses attend.

Our puppies have very different natures.  Rex is quiet and sociable while Chester is very bright and very active.  Well, this week Chester discovered several different ways to escape from his makeshift kennel.  When he joyfully bounded onto the lawn, the other puppy, Rex, cried forlornly.  What a perfect alarm system, except for the few times Rex escaped too.  Now, however, the kennel is more secure.



Miss 17, Mr 15, and Miss 12 all worked on putting in fence posts.  We need a good fence to keep the puppies off the road, but it’s a lot of work.   The children drilled post holes using an ice fishing auger I bought at a garage sale years ago.  The day after a massive downpour (about 4 inches/10 cm!!), they drilled down past the water table, making little wells.  A few times they hit bedrock.  Despite many setbacks, almost all the poles are in securely, but we’ve left decisions about the bedrock holes to Daddy.

The absolute highlight of our week, however, was a walk in nearby woods. It is a wonderful, shadowy place, full of rocks and interesting plants.  Eventually we came to the pond, and discovered that it was stocked with fish—many small, striped, silvery ones and one enormous gold fish!  These fish were very curious, and also a bit hungry.  As we settled down on a rocky ledge to watch them, they swam closer to watch us.  Miss 12 put a finger into the water, and the fish responded instantly, stopping only a few centimeters away. It didn’t take long before the water was full of fingers, but only Miss 12 was patient enough for the fish to touch her.  They also like black-eyed susans.


Then we found a net.  Mr 15 tried to net a big fish, but no matter what he did, they did not trust that net enough to swim near it.  When it was Miss 7’s turn with the net, she concentrated on catching frogs, enormous green ones, and tiny babies, and everything in between.  Did you know that large frogs eat little ones?  The children discovered one in the act, and when they netted it, the little frog escaped!  That was so exciting!  Eventually I insisted we go home so that poison ivy juices could be soaped off before it was too late.

So, off we went … and then we discovered the wild blackberries.  Now, we do have some wild blackberries around our place, but when the children go out to pick them they find just enough for a tiny snack.  Here, however, we picked handful after sweet handful.  And when we finally moved on, we found more, and more, and more….


After all that, we had a wiener and marshmallow roast for supper, a perfect ending to a perfect afternoon.

To see what other families have been up to, visit Canada Girl and Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.


  1. Samantha says:

    I have heard from lots of folks around here that the blackberries are huge and abundant this year. Sadly, I haven’t had any yet!


  2. Phyllis says:

    Now that sounds like a fun week!

  3. Tina says:

    What a lovely walk you had!!!!
    I imagin the care of the pups is teaching so much. They are beautiful.

  4. Dawn says:

    What a wonderful nature walk you had. I am glad you had such a fun week.

  5. Stacy's Page says:

    Cute dogs! And I’m not even much of a dog lover! LOL!

  6. Hi Annie Kate! What a wonderful day in the woods with the kids! I remember finding wild blackberries on South Manitou Island one summer in Michigan (we were camping with friends)…oh, sooooo yummy!

    Bryan is a pro at digging and placing fence posts at this stage, though he didn’t use an ice auger, LOL!


  7. blestmom says:

    Nature walks are so much fun, so much can be learned and discovered. Ohm your puppies are so very cute!


  8. Give. I want one of those puppies! 🙂 Oh heavens are they ever adorable!!

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