You know what?

I just like chickens.

 

 

Filling the frame today for the Dogwood Photo challenge.

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Science Fair: When Pigeons and Peas Meet

Months ago Ivy came home bubbling over with excitement about the upcoming science fair. She deliberated long on what her experiment would entail and settled on growing pea plants.

Perfect, I said, we have a greenhouse!

Ivy planted three pots of peas, and planned to water them with orange juice, blue water and regular water respectively. Liquids were carefully measured, growth and changes were noted and things were going swimmingly.

Meanwhile…

Months ago Clara fell in love with pigeons and started hand raising babies.  Despite a number of setbacks the number of baby pigeons in our house rose while the temperature outside plummeted.

No problem, I said, we have a greenhouse!

Clara moved her four pigeons to the greenhouse where they happily flew around while she did crafts on the floor spending time with them. All five of them made a tremendous mess of everything and they were all exceedingly happy if a bit of a disaster.

Until..

One day, Janurary 23rd to be exact, Ivy came to me in tears. “The pigeons at my peas!”  Sure enough. All those healthy looking peas that seemed to love their blue food coloring enhanced water, as well as the control pot of peas were eaten down to nothing. The moldy orange juice dirt was untouched and the pigeons looked not even a tiny bit remorseful.

It’s okay, I told Ivy. I’m a biologist (as a mother, stretching the truth is a requirement of the job, alright?). This is just how science goes. Write down what happened, call it an unexpected variable, document the pigeon problem and it’ll all be fine.

Last week the pigeons, due to more set backs, (but the story of how Frosty was re-named Toasty is for another day), were still flying around the greenhouse when Ivy proudly took her trusty tri-fold board complete with pictures of pea plants and pigeons off to the science fair.

This week she came home beaming- turns out that with proper documentation even pigeons can’t ruin a good science fair project.

That’s a fifth place ribbon behind her and she’s even still friends with the pigeons!

The Falcon Flies Alone by Gabrielle Mathieu

When a book starts with a naked woman on a roof wondering how she got there and more pressingly how on earth she’s going to get down, you might think that the plot of this book would have you in it’s grip. Instead I found that the plot, though smooth, was almost too flat and it was the force of the characters that kept me reading. From the not super likable heroine to the villain who’s image was drawn with such depth he gave me nightmares, the characters were easily the stars of the novel.  

Would I recommend it? The story line could have used less substance abuse, and more substance.  Although to be fair it was mostly substance abuse in the name of science. Creepy experiment on people science but science… well, with a little witch doctor voodoo thrown in for good measure. Fortunately the characters saved the book. This is Mathieu’s first novel and I look forward to seeing what she writes next.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I discovered this book because I’m a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team!

Alternating Rhythm

I love the winter.

I love the snow and the cold, the skiing and the sledding and tromping about in a winter wonderland.

But I also love the long nights with the extra time inside to play games, read by the fire and even catch a little extra sleep.

When I was outside trying to capture the alternating rhythm in the light on the field for this week’s photo challenge, it occurred to me that maybe part of why I love winter is the alternating rhythm of my days.  With daylight hours spent up and moving in the cold weather and nights reserved for recovering by the warm fire, winter days acquire a rhythm that those long days of summer never do.

Or, maybe, it’s just that I like it when my boogers freeze.

 

 

The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett

The first half of this book was a slog.

Ostensibly in English the book is sprinkled with so much Latin, French, Spanish, Old English (“..And as the chekker schawis us yis forne…”) and 16th century Scottish colloquialisms (“I never saw so many weel-kent faces all in the one place; the most of them chowed off and in no state to give the sort of snash you get from half of them when they’re upright.”) that I started to wonder if I was fluent in any language, particularly English. It took awhile, a long while, before I caught the rhythm of the language enough that I didn’t have to re-read it, learned to skim the other languages for words I knew, and just keep moving through it.  By the time I had the language in hand I had pretty much learned all of the names of the important characters (everyone seems to have at least two) and their titles so I knew who was who and then…

And then the second half of the book flew by in a whirl of spying, dying and lying mixed with jokes (I thoroughly enjoyed the ones in English) and general sixteenth century drama.  And I didn’t want to put it down.

Would I recommend it? It is not a book for the faint of heart, a week ago I would have told you maybe not.  But now that I’ve made it through I’m thinking about getting the next one in the series… or re-reading the first half again.. or both.

Sun on Snow

Photographers Choice, week 5 of the Dogwood Photography Photo Challenge.

I didn’t quite capture the real warmth that the evening light leaves on the snow.

I can’t quite see that feel the evening has when the snow looks like it’s glowing golden alongside the cool blue shadows.

I missed the wintry wonder of being able to see the warmth of the sun even as your cheeks stiffen in the cold.

But that’s okay, we finally have a winter wonderland outside again and I’m happy to try again tomorrow!