1.30.2014

When I Grow Up I Want to Be a Naturalist….


nat·u·ral·ist
ˈnaCHərəlist/
noun
  1. 1.
    an expert in or student of natural history.
    synonyms:natural historian, life scientist, wildlife expert; 
    biologist, botanist,zoologist, ornithologist, entomologist, ecologist


Whenever I hear the word "naturalist"….of course I think of Charles Darwin. But it's not evolution that enters my head….that's old news. No, it's the life Darwin led that enchants me:


….his travels...


….his way of thinking….


….his sketches.  Books and books of sketches…sketches of fruit and insects….


…of fungi and shells….


…ferns and finches.


I guess it's a romantic notion to have notebooks filled with remarkable pencil sketches of an endless variety of species.


But I think the notes must be just as magical. Darwin's notes and progressive thinking altered science…and ultimately, the world we live in. His observations, his care about living things, variety, differences, and change were painstakingly recorded.




I cannot even imagine the joy that a naturalist must experience in their daily work.


I gathered all of these seed heads today in the snow...



…and as I did, I thought about the lesson I am going to teach on dispersal...


…but I also couldn't get Rachel Carson out of my brain….


….her dedication to conservation of habitats, her study of the sea, and her fight to inform people of the dangers of pesticides. I have a little Rachel Carson pamphlet from her years writing for the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, and I treasure it. 



I gathered the specimen quickly as the sunlight faded….



…and when I brought them in, and laid  them out  to sort and store…my mind swirled with thoughts of the naturalists whose work changed our world forever. Darwin, Carson, Goodall, and Comstock …..my heroes...



I appreciate every ounce of effort they expended as they researched, studied, dreamt and fought for our environment….for Earth's organisms past and present….for the future of our world.
I respect their forward-thinking and dedication.



1.29.2014

Pillsbury Gluten Free Cookie Dough Review


Having a 10 year old with Celiac Disease prompts you to do a LOT of gluten free cooking / preparing / and baking. So C and I decided that because we are constantly preparing gluten free food or trying new products, it would make sense to review an item once a week. Sometimes it may be ready made, like this dough….it may be a snack product, a pasta, a bread, or it may be a recipe I have converted to GF or a baked good from scratch using an alternative flour.  C and I want to help those new to the GF world, just like others helped us 3 years ago.


Last night C requested the Pillsbury Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies.
The dough comes in a tub and is found in the refrigerated section, near the cheeses and other cookie dough. The tub was 4.99 and made about 30 small cookies. (We found it at Stop and Shop and Market Basket)


We made the full tub, which filled 2 cookie sheets. (we line with parchment paper). But the handy thing is that you really can make a few at a time while dinner is in, and save the rest in the fridge.



C gives the Pillsbury GF cookies a 10 out of 10 for flavor.

Mom gives them a 10 out of 10 for convenience.




I say pick up a tub and a box of parchment, and leave at grandma's house!!!!

1.24.2014

GROW your blog….and a Giveaway!

Hi everyone! I am Monica. I live in Massachusetts. I am a wife, mom, teacher, and crazy obsessed gardener and photographer.  I am taking part in this fun Grow Your Blog Party hosted by Vicki over at 2 BagsFull. Over 600 blogs are participating. That is crazy….and fun….and I love a good party!


When I tried to figure out what direction to take this special post….



….I looked through my photos….





….I milled over different ideas…..


….but the answer was right before my nose….


…the flowers that brighten my life…..


….needed to be my focus.


So I thought I would share from the heart…..


I wanted to share the flowers and birds that bring me endless joy.


From the time I was just a little girl….


I planted, tended, and harvested my own garden.


How lucky I am to now be able to share


something so close to my own heart….


….truly a part of my soul….


with all of you!


I hope that the shades and tones that nature shines on us….






….have brightened your day today.



I hope that this post becomes a catalyst….


….that the catbird and fennel will encourage YOU….




….that what is a passion for me…..




….will become the same for you.



The garden, the birds….nature in general, 

….can heal a weary heart….


….can uplift a spirit….


….can create a bond across the oceans and mountains….


…and how privileged I feel…..




thinking that you are here with me now…..


…drinking in the beauty that makes my life complete….


….the leaves….petals….the pools of color…..


….the textures…..shapes…..and scents…..




I am so glad you stopped by!
Let's party!

A little giveaway:


I am giving away 8 butterfly stamped bags to ONE lucky winner!


4 Rustic Tan with a royal ribbon…..and 4 black with black….


Interested? Just let me know in the comments section. If you do not have a blog I can link back to….please leave me your email. 

I will announce the winner on February 14, 2014!

OPEN TO ALL BLOGGERS AROUND THE WORLD!!!!!

all photos copyright Monica at Prince Snow Farm

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