We had great weather today — an anomaly to be seized and redeemed whenever possible.

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20170527_104545We took the boys back to the park where we had our picnic yesterday and met up with Grandpa and Grandma. The boys played at the park, loved the salmon slide, watched trains chug along the coastline, made lots of fleeting friendships, and walked all over cool creatures and seaweed in the tide pools.

20170527_115622Both boys were fascinated by all the tiny creatures they found20170527_115748 — lots of big and little crabs, a seastar, mussels, clams, barnacles … and other stuff that daddy-bear was great at explaining.

 

 

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J pointing out a little sand crab
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J and N and daddy-bear exploring sea life during low tide
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We love throwing rocks into the water!

After a picnic lunch in a nearby field, I took the boys on a scavenger hunt with our ziploc bags. (see other post here)

Then we went to the Locks to see the “boat elevators” and the salmon. It wasn’t quite the right time of year to see salmon on the fish ladder, but it’s an amazing system they’ve got going on there.¬†Boats can cross from the lakes to the lower level of the ocean (channels were dug in the earlier 1900s to connect the series of lakes to the Puget Sound) by going through a series of pools where the water can be raised or lowered.

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When they (I don’t know who) designed it, they accounted for the salmon that needed to travel upstream back to their home to spawn so they built a fish ladder with glass viewing windows for visitors to see the 5 feet (?) fish swimming in large groups upstream against a massive current. It’s amazing to see this, and it’s neat for the boys to get a close up look at life-cycles and the ways that people have worked to maintain species in their natural habitat in spite of industrialization. We’ll try to go back during peak season and get more pictures. There was a great little history museum there describing the process of digging the canals and building the locks, but it was way above the boys’ interest/understanding levels at this point.

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We finished off the day by grabbing dinner from a local taco truck (eating it in our car like a boss) then spending lots of minutes and dollars in a nearby children’s bookstore. I like collecting used non-fiction children’s books from any bookstore or thrift store I run across to build up our homeschool library. The boys and I both enjoy sitting down on the couch to read a book of their choosing from our growing science collection. My hope is to spark interest in subjects by presenting a variety of interesting books, then follow up with more books or projects or field trips on topics they seem really interested in.

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the results of our bookstore treasure hunt today

 

(one final picture)

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a close-up picture of some pretty seaweed and rocks during low tide