“You would make a ship sail against the winds and currents by lighting a bonfire under her deck…I have no time for such nonsense.”
At the mention of steam power, we often envision roaring freight trains winding through the countryside. In the early twentieth-century, the power of steam was also moving massive freighters across the Great Lakes.
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
― Albert Camus
It felt as though autumn snuck up on us this year, and already it seems to be fading away. We’ve had frost on the ground and nearly all the leaves have fallen from our trees. Even so, there is still time to squeeze in a few Autumn leaf projects.
Mosaic is the art of creating images with an assemblage of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials.
Art from Nature
It’s a slow moving rainy Saturday at the schoolhouse. Last night we filled a bag with freshly fallen maple leaves, and picked up a large brown cotton wood leaf for today’s Jack-o-lantern Mosaic project. It was the perfect night for a walk. The air was crisp and the leaves were dry. Kicking our feet through the fallen leaves is a game that never gets old.
Early this morning, before the boys awoke, we made our cups of tea and coffee and got to work. We cut the colorful maple leaves into small square pieces. Then, we created two pumpkin shaped forms from last night’s pizza box. Our final piece of prep work was cutting some jack-o-lantern face pieces from the cottonwood leaf.
This year we set out to include homesteading activities in the lives of our boys. It began with a simple garden of tomatoes, peppers, egg plants and cucumbers. Before long we decided to added a second garden closer to the house with watermelon, beans, and ground cherries.
The daily task of watering, weeding, and monitoring the garden became an important part of our family schedule. The garden provided endless opportunities to encourage our boys to learn. From the needs of plants to weather conditions it was easy to include math and science activities in our gardening time.
Peak color is in full swing here at the schoolhouse. Our maple trees are displaying their brilliant red and orange leaves, while the Willow, Catalpa and Osage Orange trees have turned their dismal yellow. Even the evergreens are shedding needles. Shaking their branches to make the needles rain down has become a favorite part of our morning walks.
With Autumn’s arrival we’ve been observing and talking about change. The falling leaves, birds flying south, outside temperatures and the adjustments to our wardrobe have all made for great learning.
Yesterday we observed swarms of bald-faced hornets,
The internet is overflowing with impressive life changing hacks, but when attempted so many reveal themselves to be nothing more than shenanigans. These too-good-to-be-true projects are all over websites like Pintrest, and that’s just where I found this.
The ‘pin’ claimed it was possible to build a $1 projector for your phone. I had a dollar and a little time so I gave it a try.
I’ve begun work on a digital archive of postcards related to Akron, Ohio. You can visit the Akron History project at http://Akron.ThomConte.com. At this time, I’ve only added postcards for rubber companies and Union Station. More will be included in the near future: municipal properties, county properties, parks, hospitals, churches and hotels.
No cell phones, no internet, no GPS, yet people were happy. Looking back to the simpler times of yesteryear is always fun. OLD PAPER is my new project devoted to collecting and sharing great print advertising of the past. The collection is slowly growing and includes everything from tires and cameras to salt alternatives and radios. View the Old Paper Project at http://Paper.ThomConte.com.