Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Crooked Path

Now that I have my red composting worm farm operational, I gathered books at the library and studied up to give William a nice science lesson on worms.  Trying to involve him, I asked him to dump the kitchen scraps in the worm bin.  He took the bag at arms length, and promptly began gagging.  He has, sadly, not learned much from my investment.  Perhaps, I thought, he could handle looking at a shiny, clean red worm under the microscope.  I planned that for today.

While he worked on math problems on the iPad, which has become his new obsession (the iPad, not math problems), I went outside to do my horse chores.  On the way back, I found a puffball and plucked it to show to William.

That's when my lesson plan went off the track.  "Can we go outside and go mushroom hunting?  Can we go down by the creek?"

First, I did some research as he diced the puffball into many little pieces.  (Cutting up things is a favorite pasttime.) Although it is edible, I'm not that hungry yet.  I'll save that knowledge for the end times.  It is of the genus Lycoperdon, I think. "The name comes from lycos meaning wolf and perdon meaning to break wind; thus the name literally means wolf-farts."  Why is it that all study of anything with little boys eventually leads to the word "fart"?

We went out into the yard and found more wolf-farts, and many more types of mushrooms and fungus in the woods and down by the creek.

This is a chicken mushroom or Laetiporus cincinnatus, but again, I'll not be serving this up at dinner even if it does taste like chicken (which I doubt).

On a log that's fallen across the creek

So our learning takes a crooked path and not the one planned.  We follow what lights him up and makes him want to learn.  If only we all could do that.

I can feel the winter coming.  Draining the pool today.  :-(
Reading The Adventures of Huckelberry Finn to William, having finished Tom Sawyer.
My favorite treat right now (besides chocolate of course!):  Planters Five Alarm Chili Dry Roasted Peanuts

What is this found on an oak tree?  Answering my own question:  oak apple gall.   Good thing I don't believe in folklore because I found nothing inside it! (See link.)

1 comment:

Travis Erwin said...

Great stuff. Wolf carts. I love it.


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