Posted in Sunday photos

My photography journey 22Mar20

Well … I’ve done a lot of academic learning this week, with just a little photo-taking. But I’ve graduated to all photos being taken on manual mode, which is exciting and yields only marginally more failure than other not-fully-manual-but-not-point-and-shoot-either settings. Getting there!

Here’s what I have to share with you, all from the yard or the garage.

The lead photo is a ladybug who is probably not happy that we’re ripping out her habitat. (The yard has so many really tall weeds. There are many other plants the ladybugs are welcome to hang out on.)

One of the cool things about having fruit trees is seeing the progression of the fruit growing. All of these little flowers will be either oranges or key limes, depending on which tree, of course. I took a few shots of baby fruits, but they didn’t turn out well.


A chili pepper … and a little critter.


I love cacti. Eventually, we’ll have more on site. For now, a few will do.


And finally, The Climbing Daddy is building a table for the back patio! It’s a good project for “we can’t go anywhere anyway.”



Posted in education, parenting

Free online resources for kids at home

Schools across the country are closing in an effort to help contain the pandemic.

This post is intended as a living resource for parents and other caretakers for online learning resources for kids.

They should all be free or temporarily free.

I have not checked every one. If you find any of these to be in error, let me know and I’ll edit.

If you know of others, let me know and I’ll add them.

All links should open in a new tab.

Online learning and classes through sites

Storyline Online

PBS Kids

Go Noodle



Vooks Storybooks

Prodigy (math)

Ivy League courses online

ABC Mouse (use coupon code SCHOOL7771)


Mystery Science

NatGeo for Kids

Into the Book



Highlights Kids

The Basic Band Book


Crash Course

Khan Academy

Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems


Online learning and classes through YouTube

Dr. Selfridge Music

Science Mom

Music lessons


Online learning and classes through Facebook

Art lessons through Facebook live

More (different) art through Facebook live


Ideas for other things to do at home

These aren’t online interactive things but are lists of ideas.

30 Days of Lego Play

Little animal drawing tutorials (not video; through Facebook)


Virtual field trips/performances

Collection of “over 30” virtual field trips with links

Virtual museum tours

Plays and musicals

National Park Tours

Musical Instrument Museum

Center for Puppetry Arts

Metropolitan Opera


Art at Home seems to have a giant list, with loads of other stuff as well. If you’re not prone to overwhelm and want lots of options, head over there!

Posted in Sunday photos

My photography journey 15Mar20

Joshua Tree! It’s such an amazing park! We’ve been so many times in recent years and I don’t get tired of it.

We were there for just a couple of days. The last day, there was mist and fog and light rain (and not-so-light-rain) and I didn’t get photos of that (I don’t have rain gear for my camera), but the rest of the time, it was lovely.

This is the back side of rocks that were right behind our campsite. The kids climbed up there quite a bit. (There is a route around on the right that doesn’t require use of the “ladder.”)



This log was actually longer and windier, but this was the best shot I could get. Still pretty neat.



I love plants growing out of rocks. (Except weeds growing out of my driveway. I don’t love those.)



A neat-looking branch. Looks a bit like a bird.



Actual bird! (This is the view to the front of our campsite. The views were non-stop.)



The moon was so pretty the one night we could see it. (Clouds and rain other nights.)



This baseball was under a bush in our campsite when we arrived.



Spring! Not as many flowers as I expected, but the ones that had come out were lovely.



We had quite a few bold, hungry critters in camp with us…


Good times! Fun place to take photos. Fun place to hike and scramble and climb and camp. Two thumbs up.

And the head image? A rattlesnake we passed in our travels. Pretty docile. Just waking up from winter. But we definitely didn’t test the limits of its sluggishness…