The Living Roof: California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco

We love to visit The Living Roof whenever we visit the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.  This paragraph from the Academy webpage states it best… “An open-air observation terrace enables visitors to get a close-up look at the roof’s lush canopy of plants. The view encompasses the densest concentration of native wildflowers in San Francisco. The expansive vista is also an ideal location … Continue reading The Living Roof: California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco

Ladybug Clusters: Redwood Regional Park

Photos taken January 27th, 2013 Redwood Regional Park, Oakland Interested in going?  The ladybugs cluster at Redwood Regional Park between November and February.  You’ll find them at the intersection of the Stream and Prince Trails.  Look on, around, and behind the bench, as well as across the trail, near (and on) the sign.  You can begin the hike at either the Skyline Gate Staging Area … Continue reading Ladybug Clusters: Redwood Regional Park

Citizen Science: FrogWatch 2013

As I sit here at my computer with the backdoor open to allow some fresh air into our home, I’m listening to the lovely sound of frogsong.  The chorus is coming from the creek on the other side of our backyard fence.  Up until today, we’ve only been hearing one frog at a time.  Suddenly, this afternoon,I can’t distinguish how many I hear.  Has the … Continue reading Citizen Science: FrogWatch 2013

Mamatography: Week 3

A typical week in the life of my 5-year-old… playing with Lego’s, running around outside, watching wildlife, studying dinosaurs… January 16th, 2013 My son insisted I take a photo of his Lego Ninjago guys battling… January 17th, 2013 Watching the deer on the hill behind our home, a favorite activity… January 19th, 2013 The pine cone bird feeder my son made at school… Easy-to-do:  Smash … Continue reading Mamatography: Week 3

Paleontology Play: The Magic School Bus Fossil Science Kit

For those of you with kids in the 5-12 age-range, I highly recommend you check out The Magic School Bus Science Club, offered through The Young Scientist Club (   By joining the club, you’ll receive twelve Magic School Bus science kits, one mailed each month of the year.  The cost is about $240/year, but you might be able to find a 50% off membership … Continue reading Paleontology Play: The Magic School Bus Fossil Science Kit

The Calming Effect of Nature on Children

One of the great things about playing in nature is that bouts of exertion and excitement are often interspersed with quiet, contemplative time.  I don’t have to recommend these quiet moments… my five-year-old sits down and calms himself entirely on his own whenever he’s inspired by the beauty around him. I often wonder what he’s thinking, but I wouldn’t dare interrupt the magic of the … Continue reading The Calming Effect of Nature on Children

Mamatography 2013: Week 2

January 9th Playing with leaves and sticks outside the city library… January 10th Finishing his homework for the week… January 11th Reading one of his Star Wars books… January 12th Studying animal tracks… January 13th Being silly at the park… January 14th So happy his mountain lion print is finally dry… (see January 15th post, More Fun with Animal Tracks) Please check out the post … Continue reading Mamatography 2013: Week 2

Hike: Las Trampas Peak, Las Trampas Regional Wilderness

It was pretty darn cold this past weekend, but I still enjoyed a Saturday morning hike at Las Trampas Regional Wilderness with my hiking group.  At the start of the hike, the temperature was about 30 degrees, and it heated up all the way to about 36 by the end of the hike.  I know for many of you in other parts of the country … Continue reading Hike: Las Trampas Peak, Las Trampas Regional Wilderness

More Fun with Animal Tracks

This past weekend, we attended a fun nature class at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont.  This free class for children aged 5+ and their family, called Family Nature Hour, is held on Saturday afternoons throughout the year.  Each week a different concept from the natural world is covered.  The one we attended on Saturday was about animal tracks. We were fortunate to have the … Continue reading More Fun with Animal Tracks

Weely Photo Challenge: Resolved

I don’t really do resolutions, so this challenge has been a tough one for me. Philosophy When I was twenty-three, I had a month of solitude. During this quiet period, I came up with my “meaning of life.”  I was able to distil the meaning of life (for me) into two parts.  One is to be a lifelong learner, to be continually evolving and open, … Continue reading Weely Photo Challenge: Resolved

Mamatography 2013, Week 1 – Here we go!

This is my first post for Mamatography 2013 (a 365 day photography project).  If you don’t know what I’m up to, check it out here… Mamatography 2013:  A 365 Day Photography Project.  Since I’m new to Mamatography, those of you participating probably don’t know much about me yet.  In a nutshell, I’m the mom of a 5-year-old boy.  I try to get out into nature … Continue reading Mamatography 2013, Week 1 – Here we go!

Outdoor Play: Lightsaber Battle

My son asked for one thing from Santa this year… a lightsaber.  A blue lightsaber, to be exact, so he could be just like Luke Skywalker.  Santa must’ve thought two lightsabers might be more fun, as, in addition to the blue lightsaber, he also brought a red one (like the one Darth Vader uses).  Doesn’t every young Jedi need an evil Sith to fight with?.  … Continue reading Outdoor Play: Lightsaber Battle

New Experience: Travel by Train

In 2013, I’m going to steal an idea from Danielle over at 52 Brand New.  If you haven’t checked out this blog and you have kids, I recommend you visit it soon.   Each week, Danielle writes about an experience that’s brand new to her children.  It’s a fun, inspiring blog!  Check it out… Now, I don’t intend to try out something new each week, … Continue reading New Experience: Travel by Train

Hike: Indian Joe Nature Trail, Sunol Regional Wilderness

This lovely one-mile loop trail is one of my favorite hikes in the San Francisco East Bay to do with little kids.  My son and I hiked this regularly when he was three.  On Saturday, I walked the trail alone… a rare treat.  I enjoyed walking at my own pace, taking the time to stop and take photos along the way.  My son, now five, … Continue reading Hike: Indian Joe Nature Trail, Sunol Regional Wilderness