Wednesday, June 29, 2011

P.O.P. Nature Study: Picnic at the Seashore

It is Carol's birthday and the children have made homemade cards for her. Her husband gives her a book about John James Audubon, complete with illustrations and some of Audubon's color prints.

They pack a picnic basket and head to the seashore. Couple of summers ago I did a piece on Summer Eats for Donna Marie's Domestic Church blog. It's always nice to open the basket and spread the banquet on old blog posts. :-) I've packed it for you below.

A lovely day is spent swimming in the water, building castles, finding sea creatures. The picnic lunch is shared with the seagulls. The picnic basket is packed with shells collected along the shoreline.

Michael and Carol discuss their future plans while the children play. They complete the day with ice cream cones.

Black-bellied plover---pluvialis squatarola
herring gull---larus argentatus
laughing gull---larus articilla
hermit crabs---pagurus armatus
northern sea star---arsterias vulgaris
sand crab---emerita
sanderling---calidris alba

Have you taken your children to the beach yet this summer? If not, don't feel discouraged. There's still all of July and all of August. There's still 4th of July weekend and Labor Day weekend. Summer has only begun! In the meantime, join us at the beach for a dip...

Live by the Currents, Play by the Tides, Follow the Sun

Nothing Like Gladness

What have you found on the beach?

Has anyone read about the life of Audubon?

Summer Eats by Cay Gibson

The summer sun has not yet smoldered the southland in a bleached cloud of heat. The nights are still cool, gentle, forgiving. The grass is refreshing to bare feet newly freed from their winter’s foyer. The summer solstice is in prenatal form but fixing to give birth. It is pulsating with life. Why would we miss a moment of it?

The outdoors was God’s first vision of our preferred home. Trees protect us from rain and sun. Flowers offer the first air freshener.

Crops barter the first food. In keeping with our homes being the domestic churches, surely, our yards are the bowers into the home.

They serve as a glimpse into a once beautifully spiritual garden.They welcome guests to our home. They leave pleasant memories in our children’s mind of a better time, a better life, a better summer.

Susan Hill instructs: “In summer, the kitchen is not for lingering in, only for preparing food quickly, wrapping it or dishing it up, and taking it outside.” Until the evenings become uncomfortably hot and unpleasant, I plan to take these domestic instructions to heart.

Do you have a simple patio table outside? What about a picnic table? If not, perhaps you have a card table you could set outside under a nearby tree.

Find an old table cloth, curtain, or bed sheet…preferably of fabric and with a floral print. Spread it on your table. Set a vase in the center. Have the children pick fresh flowers to go in it.

On a corner, set a large bowl or tin bucket. Fill with cold cans and ice cubes. Or fill a pitcher with lemonade or water and set in bucketful of ice.

Fix a simple tray of po-boy sandwiches. Layer them around the edges. In the center, spread lettuce and tomatoes. Present a bowl of fresh fruits and vegetables.

It’s that simple. It’s that inviting. It’s that summery.

Alice Cantrell's Lemon Pound Cake Recipe to take to your next picnic!

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