29 Jan 2009

A post to keep you cool

Never be within doors when you can rightly be without.

Charlotte Mason Home Education p42
It's too hot to venture forth Charlotte Mason style on our nature rambles this month. After all even the great lady herself only advocated long hours outside on "every tolerably fine day, from April till October". (Isn't it funny that she missed out the miserable English winter months; I miss out the dreadful summer ones!) Not that the weather keeps us inside; we manage to while away many a long hour in the pool and spend most evenings dining al fresco.

Besides, the gain of an hour or two in the open air, there is this to be considered: meals taken al fresco are usually joyous, and there is nothing like gladness for converting meat and drink into healthy blood and tissue. All the time, too, the children are storing up memories of a happy childhood. Fifty years hence they will see the shadows of the boughs making patterns on the white tablecloth; and sunshine, children's laughter, hum of bees, and scent of flowers are being bottled up for after refreshment.

Charlotte Mason Home Education p42-43
We make every effort to observe nature during these times - it is amazing the variety of insect life that visits the pool in search of a cool haven, and this discriminating observation is exactly what Miss Mason recommends - training our powers of observation and expression. We also watch carefully for signs of dehydration amongst birds and plants.

What we don't do so much of during the long, hot days of summer is take our nature notebooks outside and make sketches of what we're seeing. Instead, we spend time inside drawing things that we've seen in the past.

Yesterday Jemimah decided to draw a Land Yabby observed during a trip to the Otway Fly on a cooler day a month ago.

Here's the original creature (which we failed to find a Latin name for!)

Finally, a couple of photos of the yabby's original home - the beautiful Otway Ranges - guaranteed to keep you cool on the hottest summer day!!


  1. The trees look lovely. We're looking for a house at the moment, and I'm leaning towards houses with decks and patios for playing when it rains, and maybe al fresco meals.

  2. Love the pic of Jemimah!


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