Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Side-tracked (eagle spotting)

For about a week life has gone by in its usual way, a bit of this, a bit of that...lots of library books, The Life of Mammals series, art play and science play and math play and outdoor play, giggly conversations and heartfelt ones, elaborate fruit salads and egg drop soup made by the girls, Sylvia's first lost baby tooth and a tooth pillow sewn together by sisters.... 

 Some of our inspiration has come from the book, Math Trek:  Adventures in the Math Zone.  What happens if you cut a mobius strip in half lengthwise (along the center line)?  What happens if you do it again?  Try it!
Tie a knot by unfolding your arms?

If you cross your arms across your chest properly and then grasp each end of a piece of yarn or string, then slide your arms apart without losing hold of the string...tada! a tri-fold knot.

Anyway, that was the speed of our days, then we prepared for our usual type of Tuesday-in-town (run errands, have lunch, homeschool class at the nature center, hang out with friends, long drive home).  However, on the drive in to town we got side-tracked.  As we were about to drive by the Wisconsin River, I suddenly pulled over.  This particular length of the river is a popular gathering spot for bald eagles at this time of year.  I thought we might park for a few minutes to see if we could spot any.  Would you like to walk down to the river for a few minutes? OK.

 We did spot one bald eagle perched on a tree top across the river, but the real fascination was the thin ice just inches above the river bottom.

 up close


 ice crystals

 gap tooth 
 happiness by the river

Shall we drive a little further down the river?  YES!
 'eaglets' flying across the walking bridge

 walking stick

 four perched eagles

 in flight

 We explored the river bank....
 When we all were ready to gaze, still and quiet in a secluded spot, the eagles put on a show for us, swooping quite near at times, and showing us how they scoop fish right out of the river.  We were in awe.
(These pictures are all unedited from my little point-and-shoot camera.)

 my happy 'eaglets'

Three hours from the time I had 'pulled over for a few minutes' we realized that we had better skedaddle if we were going to meet up with friends at the nature center class.  We were chilled and invigorated and ready to thank the eagles and say goodbye.  We ate snacks on the way, and were only a few minutes late :).
After a stop at the natural foods co-op for veggie sushi and huge salads from the salad bar (and a nap), we were ready to play with friends for a couple of hours before heading home.

Don't you love inspired diversions?  Do you get side-tracked for hours at a time, only to find out it was better than anything you could have planned?

I am grateful for a magical, thrilling day, and for the freedom to follow our noses, our toes, and our wings, as the inspiration finds us.


  1. What a beautiful day! Isn't the freedom unschooling offers a joy!

  2. Wow, what a great unplanned stop you all had!

  3. Beautiful! I love reading of others pulling over. In summer we like to pack the car full of snacks and just head out with no planned destination. We have found some really awesome spots to visit this way.

  4. SO beautiful, Nikole! I adore days like this, and that's without any eagles in them! My girl would have been so incredibly thrilled to see them there on the water. (Well, so would we ALL, but she is the Great Bird Lover). Your day looks magical. Thank you so much for taking us along with you :)

  5. That does sound like a thrilling day. How fantastic. Really lovely space you have here..x


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