Saturday, September 25, 2010

Harriton House Plantation Fair


Today, fueled by Noor's desire to learn to forge metals, we went to the historic Harriton House's Plantation Fair where Kayla and Chris were demonstrating 18th. century blacksmithing.  Harriton House, built in 1704 in Bryn Mawr, PA was a tabacco plantation (with slaves) until it became the home of Charles Thomson, who was the first and only Secretary to the Continental Congresses. He was also a prominent abolitionist, who paid all of his farm workers a fair wage.

We watched, enthralled and sweaty, as Kayla hammered out a nail.

Next, we stopped at the falconry tent where we met Penelope the Eurasian or Eagle owl and her companions, two Peregrine (arctic) falcons and a red-tailed falcon.  One of the most interesting things, besides just being that physically close to these amazing birds, was watching them pant, like a dog.  Birds don't have sweat glands, either, so they pant to cool down.

The falconer invited us to her rookery, sometime in the next few months, to watch the birds hunt!

Noor sat for a bit and sketched theses studies of the arctic falcon:

This isn't the actual bird we saw, those photos didn't come out, but here is an arctic falcon like the one we saw:

Monday, September 20, 2010

Yeasty Beasties

Does sugar encourage yeast growth?

Yes, it sure does!  Sugar feeds the yeast, a fungus, by providing energy.

The glass on the left has 1/2 t yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar and warm water; the glass on the right is just yeast and warm water

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Because sometimes home-educated youth are thought to be deprived of socialization.......

Best Friends come in all sizes.....

Dinosaur State Park

I think I'm done playing catch-up with Alaska adventures.....

Back on the east coast, we took a trip up to Vermont's Northern Kingdom to visit grandma and grandad.  On the way home, we stopped at Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, CT.  They boast one of the largest fossil tracks from the Jurassic period.  Noor made a cast of a theropod print and really enjoyed walking the timeline.

Noor's two favorite dinosaurs: Velociraptor and Archeopteryx

It is hard to see, but Noor is standing at the "dawn of man" line.....

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Noor's uncle Ari bought her a fishing rod for her birthday and her uncle Andy took her fishing.  She caught a Yellow Perch, who was returned to the lake....