Archive for the ‘Biology’ Category

I promised to blog more. And here I am. But it’s really a trip update – and not much actual unschooly stuff…although of course if Kai was at school we wouldn’t probably have just spent 5 days on Kangaroo Island in ‘term time’!

For those who don’t know, Kangaroo Island is off the coast about 1.5 hours south of Adelaide. You get there on a ferry (or a plane, if you are richer than we are!).

There are kangaroo’s on Kangaroo Island. But I didn’t get any very good photo’s of them! Only this one…


 There are also many, many Rosenberg’s monitors….I got some good photo’s of them!



There are lots of echidna’s….they don’t  seem to like to be photographed though!



We did a lot of beachy stuff – we snorkelled (the last two days…which were warm!) – at Stokes Bay and at Emu Bay, and I used Kai’s camera to photograph some cute fish…


….and while i’m not a fan of the ‘selfie’, I feel like a snorkel selfie is acceptable!


Kai and Brett fished…at every beach we went to, pretty much! Turns out Kai is a super dooper caster! They caught some Australian salmon at Hanson Bay.???????????????????????????????



And Kai did some boogie-boarding at Vivonne Bay…(that day was freezing!! No way was I going in the water that day!).


We also went to visit the Australian sea lion colony at Seal Bay, which was very cool, especially as there were lots of baby seals!





….all the dots on the beach are seals (except the one’s that are obviously rocks!).

We visited the Remarkable Rocks in Flinders Chase National Park – they really are quite remarkable!


And also Admirals Arch and the New Zealand fur seal colony – there are some black things behind Kai – they are NZ fur seals!


We found another species of carnivorous sundew….furthering our excitement of carnivorous plants! We think the species is Drosera Pygmaea – Kangaroo Island..


And we visited the Marron Farm – coffee was good, ice cream sundae better, and the Marron tanks fascinating – though with Kai’s shellfish allergy, we didn’t bother to buy any to eat!


Aside from all that, Kai did a bit of photography, and we read a LOT of Beast Quest! In the car while Brett was looking for lizards, in the tent with a head-torch…pretty much anywhere! Desperately requiring Beast Quests 19 – 24 now!! Kai also spent hours in the car pouring over the Book of Beasts – clearly doesn’t inherit my car sickness!

All in all, a great few days away….although I wouldn’t rave in general about KI, the beaches were pretty stunning and we had a wonderful time!




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Kai has had control of the laptop most of the week, so I’ve been slack at updating! But we are now back at my cousins and he’s on the PS3, so laptop control is miiiiinnnnneeeee!!

Here’s our week…


On Sunday we went on a drive to Springbrook National Park and visited the Natural Arch. It was pretty cool, and lots of beautiful rainforest…although we didn’t get to see any glow worms, I think it was too light..

On Monday we headed north to Brisbane to stay with our friends with the yurts…there was lots of trampolining, running around, catching chickens, and here’s Kai on an egg hunt in the wilds of the ferns!




We stayed there Monday and Tuesday, and then headed to another unschooling friends house on Wednesday morning. We headed straight for a Park Day! Hooray….





There was a lot of this:


Which is Kai playing L4D2 and his pal watching (because unfortunately his computer wasn’t playing it :()

There was some of this…



On Friday we headed into the city and Kai and I spent a lot of time in the Queensland Museum and Science Centre (which are both AWESOME btw!)..


Hahahaha! Hours of Fun!


Check out his facial expression!


We also caught up with my dear friend Tanya and her family, who luckily are here visiting family at the moment – since they currently live in China! It was a wonderful, but all too short, catch up…

The kids enjoyed fish and chips…




And Kai and Arlo had a lovely time in the playground….


Then we went out with our unschooling friends to celebrate a 9th birthday! Lots of eating out!

Saturday was Kai’s friends official 9th birthday party in the park. It was a cosplay – Kai went as Frodo Baggins….


So, after the party we headed straight to the train station and headed back to the Gold Coast, and we head home on Tuesday…So, there may or may not be another holiday update before then!




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Well, what a happy coincidink…today is Day in the Life day! So…we are currently staying with unschooling friends near Brisbane and here’s what happened today in our life….

We were awoken around 4am with boobook owl calling. I listened for a while, and Kai got up for a wee and also listened for a while. We went back to sleep. Eventually got up around 8am.  This was our view when we stepped out of the door…



And this is where we slept….



Yep, our friends have yurts! Two of them! This is the smaller ‘guest’ yurt!

Kai had cereal for breakfast, and then played outside on the trampoline with the kids aaaages….then Kai and Abby had a bit of quiet time and watched Pokemon….




Then some other homeschoolers (who Kai and I didn’t know) came around and we had lunch (rice cakes and monkey platter for Kai) and went for a hike around the property….and through a banana plantation!





The kids spent lots of time time examining tracks and poop and scrapes, and we found a snake skin on the way home. After more time on the trampoline, our new friends left and there was more quieter TV time and then chicken stir-fry dinner. Then we went spotlighting around the yurts…



We spotted an orb-weaver spider, a huntsman and not much else! Then we got back to the yurts and found a possum!

It’s 7.57pm and Kai’s about to fall asleep. True story! I’m sure this incredibly early bedtime won’t last at home, but it’s become the norm on the holiday – and he’s still not getting up till 8am…truly knackered!

I have more to add from the holiday, but will do that tomorrow! Hope you had a wonderful day in your life too!




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Week two of our jolly hols in Qld…the weather has been relatively kind – certainly kinder than it looks in South Australia…so here is an update for Daddy, Nana and anyone else reading!

On Tuesday we went to Surfers Paradise. Last time I went there I was 20. Seriously! Though I don’t know that it’s changed that much to be honest. More skycrapers, more infrastructure…a bit less beach with the rising sea level perhaps?! Still lots of backpackers!



Though, I don’t remember that sign….


Beach was windy…


and the Ben and Jerry’s was delicious!

Yesterday the weather wasn’t so fantastic, and we headed down south over the New South Wales border to visit some other unschoolers…..Kai and his new pal spent most of the day playing Halo….


While we chatted, drank tea, and sorted out Mods on Minecraft!

Today the weather was pretty good, and we decided to walk to the David Fleay Conservation Park. It was a pretty long walk – over 5km and 1.5 hours. We stopped for refreshments on the way! But, according to Kai, it was definitely worth the walk and was declared ‘awesome’ and the best wildlife park we’ve EVER been to (that is a pretty a big accolade! We’ve been to a lot!)….apparently this was because it had lots of animals he hadn’t seen before, or didn’t remember seeing (it was mostly native Qld animals).


Child-eating crocs!!! (it’s in the background, if you can’t see it!)


Snake-handling (nothing new for Kai, hence the unimpressed expression!)


Endangered cute and furries – including these pademelons, nailtail wallabies, tree kangaroos, etc….

…and they also had a platypus that you could watch feeding and swimming underwater – which was super cool – probably the coolest thing for me!

We got a ride home, and now knackered. Back at the ranch (my cousin Mark’s and his wife Siobhan’s!) there has been much Minecrafting, and much excitement since 1.6 came out!…..


That’s it for now! Enjoying sun, warmth and family and new friends! More updates soon….

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We drove back to the Gold Coast from Hervey Bay yesterday, and today woke up to beautiful weather and free tickets to Sea World (well, any of the three parks – but Kai chose Sea World!)…and Kai’s cousin got the day off school (even though it was first day back here in Queensland! Sssshhh!)….

We had a great but loooong day!

We saw sharks…


Rays (which are sharks..kinda!)


The boys went on the pirate water cannon ships…


…and then played in the big play area for aaaages!

Then we saw some polar bears, seals and dolphins….and Kai wanted to go on the high rise climbing maze…so we did, much to my dislike!

He did great!climbingKai

and yep…I managed it too, with Surfers in the background!


Then we went on the Log Flume, and went to the Dinosaur Centre, which was super cool!dino


…finally we saw the penguins, went in the shop, and drove home! Kai fell asleep as soon as we got in! What a day!

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Oh crikey! Well, what can I say….we’ve been living life, doing fun stuff, and…erm…not blogging much about it…

In no particular order, here’s some stuff we’ve been doing for the past 3 weeks!



We visited the Adelaide Gaol on Open Day….this is Kai pulling the lever in the old hanging tower…we also overhead this priceless line from a little boy about Kai’s age as we walked around “This place looks just like my school, Mum.”….ah, from the mouth of babes!?

We went on a guided tour of the Botanical Gardens with Odysseus…and learnt about how the Ancient Greeks used plants…



Apparently a cyclops lived in here!

Kai dissected a spider (we think a female mouse spider…it had very big fangs!). He also swatted a mosquito and we looked at it’s stylet…



We tried ‘Knightly Sword Skills’ class, and loved it…



We met up with new friends.…who love to skate and surf….yay! (and play on slides!)



They’ve all buggered off to Bali for now…but coming back soon!

We had one very wildlife-y week…we went to Cleland and met the new golden wombat (photo by Kai)



We also went to the zoo for it’s 130th Birthday! And we did something else I’ve forgotton!

And last weekend Kai went for his first winter surf, in his new steamer wetsuit….followed by a hot chocolate!



We’ve also done loads of geocaching, with friends and just us, and we hid our first cache…Kai’s played lots of Minecraft – particularly Pokemon and LOTR….and has rediscovered his PokePark Wii game the past two days and is loving it!

I’m sure i’ve missed lots, but that’s about the gist of it all!  Oh, and i’ll leave you with Kai’s very Zen drawing….



It’s a Chinese man meditating…and levitating…he said he got the idea from an Eyewitness DVD, though i’m not sure which one as yet!

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We’re back in Alice! In fact, we’ve been away for more than a week already! We drove via Coober Pedy, as always (because there is no other way!), but finally found a cool place to stay – The Underground Motel. It was pretty awesome – like staying in a cave (well – it was actually staying in a cave, I guess!)….


Unfortunately I ate too much seafood and got sick that night, but other than that, Coober Pedy was uneventful, although we did learn a bit about opals and hope to do some opal mining on the way home (real life Minecraft, dontcha know!)! Kai did do a bit of ‘mining’ with the geopick on the roadside anyway….


The next day we drove to Alice….lots of stops on the way to look for bones, buy ice cream, and our usual lunch stop in the middle of nowhere! Erldunda roadhouse is always an interesting place too! For some reason these two are currently behind bars!?



We arrived in Alice at a reasonable 5pm on Sunday afternoon. This time we are camping, to keep costs down, and it was VERY hot (like 39 C!)…we put up the tent and had sausages for dinner…

Since then, the weather has gone from incredibly hot (while putting out the pitfall traps, of course!), to now quite cold (it’s forecast to be down to 13 C tonight!). There has been much red sand. Much digging. And quite a few lizards, thankfully…as well as an Australian tarantula (a barking spider) and giant desert scorpion!


Kai has really loved the whole thing this time, more so than last time, and seems to have come into his biological element on this trip! He has been spotlighting every night, and found gecko’s, trap door spiders, and a bunch of other stuff! Last night and tonight he took his new friend Harry spotlighting too!



That’s a very cute baby sand goanna!

Since its Easter this weekend, there are also lots of kids here, so he’s spent a lot of time in the playground playing with a big group of kids, in the playground (including in the dark!), in the pool, spotlighting, on the hire bikes….


We’ve also done some cultural stuff – we went on a little drive to Ellery Creek Big Hole – a swimming hole along the Red Centre Way, which was beautiful…


We returned to the Desert Park for a second look, and had fun there…and yesterday we went to Emily Gap and saw some Indigenous rock paintings of the Caterpiller dreaming…


And….Kai got his ear pierced on Thursday! He’s been asking for a while, and was very sure, even after I explained it would hurt, might get infected and might scar… It was no big deal really (I have quite a few piercings, and Brett has his ears pierced and once had an eyebrow piercing). We took him to a proper piercer, as guns are BAD! He is rocking his new bling, and really loves it! (you probably can’t even see it in that picture!)


He’s also been fully into camo clothing…so we got him some camo pants and a t-shirt (definitely developing his own eclectic style at the moment!)…and he bought himself a plastic machine gun, and has been having fun running around in the spinifex in camo with his gun!


Easter Sunday I just about managed to get the eggs hidden before he woke up! We did the Easter egg hunt around the tent and the car.  He was pretty happy with his haul, ate some of the Lindt chocolate balls, then went to play. Most years he gives the majority of his chocolate away in the end, although this year I was careful to buy good quality chocolate all the way this year, as he won’t touch cheap chocolate eggs (quite rightly!)! We’ll see how it goes – currently his Easter basket is still full.

It’s been interesting coming camping now he is so much older. As soon as he made friends i’ve barely seen him! He’s been off spotlighting at night on his own or with a friend, and we’ve been using the walkie-talkie’s to stay in contact. He and Harry took off for an hour on the hire bikes today! He asked to sleep in a separate part of the tent this time, and next time has asked for his own separate one man tent!!! So independent and amazing, and so confident. He’s such a cool kid!

One more day to go, and we are heading home. We’ve had a great trip!

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