Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Backyard Wonders

It's summer, and I am so grateful to have time to enjoy my backyard. The raspberry bushes started producing berries about 3 weeks earlier than usual, and I picked several quarts of them this season. Now, with the heat, they are pretty dried up. The birds are enjoying raiding the remaining berries, and we've enjoyed such a bounty of fruit that I don't even mind.
Speaking of birds, we have a family of blue-jays in our yard again this year. One of the fledglings either was pushed or fell out of its nest the other day. While she was learning to use her wings, I had the opportunity to get a number of pictures of her. And now, it seems she has a brother. Here is a picture my husband captured of the siblings getting a drink from the waterfall by my pond:

Their parents were not far away, and they were keeping a close eye on their offspring. Isn't this just a wonderful picture? What a treat!

On another note, I have to praise my iPhone and stress how this mobile device enabled me to share an ode to my backyard with my local newspaper. Jim Shelton, a reporter for the New Haven Register, has called on folks to report on "a handful of summer." I had ripped the invite with his email out of the paper, and it was sitting on the table in my garage. I was viewing the backyard through the screens on the back of the garage, and I got inspired and jotted down a quick description of how my backyard represents my own personal "handful of summer." If I had had to go into the house, boot up my laptop, and write my message, it might never have happened. However, since I had my iPhone right there, I logged into my gmail account, went to compose mail, added the address from the register, typed my blurb, and hit "send." I heard the familiar whoosh, and it was on its way.
On Monday, I taught a professional development session on the wonders of using our Discovery Education subscription, and while I was at school, my husband told me a man had come pounding on our door asking for Carolyn Stanley. It seems that Jim showed up with a small camera and asked to go into our yard. He filmed a video which made the electronic edition of the paper along with the piece I had written. How exciting to share and be  recognized. That's the power of 21st century leaning offered to our kids. That's what will keep education engaging for them.
Here is a link to the article at the New Haven Register online. You'll have to scroll down to see the link to the video and even further down in the article to see the piece that I wrote. Enjoy.
I hope you'll leave me a comment if you like it.

Happy Summer - I'm up late and had better get to bed.
This has been an exciting evening of learning and sharing.

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