Estes Park Aerial Tramway

One of the fun things we did while we were in Colorado was to take the Estes Park Aerial Tramway. It’s an older tram and fairly small, which probably makes more fun.  My older kids had been on a tram several years ago at Sandia Mountain in New Mexico, but not all of them even remember it, so this was a new experience or at least seemed like a new experience for a couple of my kids, and they loved it!

There was a beautiful view from the top and a picture just does not do it justice.

View from the top of the Tram

But the favorite part of the tram experience was that the gift shop at the top sold peanuts that could be fed to the animals that lived right outside their door. You’ve never seen such fat birds and squirrels, or at least I never had.

Feeding Fat Squirrels in Estes Park

Feeding Fat Squirrels in Estes Park
If you wanted to learn the ill effects of feeding wildlife, this was a great place to study it. The animals there were fat, demanding and way to comfortable around people, but I guess as long as they stay in the back yard of that gift shop, all will be okay, other than that they will have heart disease from being obese.

Summer Junior Ranger Badges

Junior Ranger Badges bring mixed reactions in my family. I think they are a fun and educational project. Some of my kids agree with me. Some, well, maybe we won’t go there. So some of my kids had fun getting Junior Ranger Badges this summer, and all got them. We (meaning my kids) earned three badges this summer from the following National Parks: Rocky Mountain National Park, Denali National Park, and Kenai Fjords National Park. They also were able to visit two new states that these parks were in—Colorado and Alaska respectively. A couple pictures of taking the pledge: (Rocky Mountain NP and Kenai Fjords respectively).

Rocking Mountain NP Jr. Ranger Pledge

Kenai Fjords NP Jr. Ranger Pledge

A few pictures of the fun we had on our different trips. (Climbing trees in Colorado, standing by an elevation sign that we hiked up to from the Alpine Visitor Center in Rocky Mountain National Park, and setting up camp in Denali NP respectively.)

Tree Climbing in Colorado

Trail Close to Alpine Visitor Center Rocky Mountain National Park

Camping in Denali NP

Learning About Seeds

Scooter is studying Exploring Creation with Botany from the Apologia Elementary Science series. I mentioned that my baby girl started kindergarten this year, and she is doing the Astronomy book from the same series. I rather love the Astronomy book, but unfortunately, I found the Botany book a bit difficult to slog through when I did it with my oldest two several years ago. But we are giving it a try again this year, and hoping for a change of perspective. Scooter is older than my oldest was when we attempted it before, so maybe that will help. The first few experiments have definitely been enjoyable. Here are a couple of fun experiments that we have done so far. The first two pictures are of a light hut that we built, as per the instructions in the textbook and the put in “pots” of newly planted basil, chamomile, and lemon balm. It was a lot of work, so we hope it works!


Watering Seeds to put in the Light Hut

Inside the Light Hut
The next three pictures were from our seed anatomy examinations. We soaked beans and sunflower seeds in hot water for half an hour so that we could carefully peel off the testa and see the inside of the seeds. We also identified the hylum (the seed belly button) of our seeds. The most interesting part of the seed anatomy examination was looking at our seeds through the microscope. You can easily identify the plumule and radicle in the picture that we took through the eyepiece of the microscope.


Wrinkled Seed Testas

Sunflower Seed Hilum
Plumule & Radicle of a seed

Well, I have to admit, so far so good on this Botany book. Maybe we’ll really enjoy it this time.