Monday, December 17, 2012

Turtles and shells

Early in the morning we found the visiting turtle in the garden.  He causes great excitement every time he appears.  The boys call him a race turtle, if you put him down he is really fast, so fast that I cannot take good pictures of him if Melva does not pick him up.  When she picks him up, he is furious, scratching at her with his clawed feet and threatening to bite anything that comes too near.  We only held him up for a short while, long enough to look at him as closely as he would let us.

We spent most of the day on a nearby beach with tide pools and sea shells.  The weather was perfect, 25 degrees Celsius with a little wind.  (I think I should only mention the weather if it is not perfect, from now on).  The younger children spent hours trying to catch the fish in their nets, and Melva was collecting shells. The bigger boys played beach tennis and I found something that might qualify as sea glass?

We have a little book that we can use to identify the shells, but it only gives the name of the shell with a description.  It becomes a bit tedious to identify them, to tell the truth, especially if you cannot really pronounce the scientific names. 

I took pictures throughout the day, none of the shells, and plenty of the sea stars that we found.  They had many colors on top, but were all the most beautiful teal underneath.  I could almost start to understand how you can use something you found outside as an inspiration for a quilt, or a knitted afghan, perhaps?

The children handled the sea stars, and they saw a limpet removed from its rock.  They discovered that it sticks to anything, and that you can wear it as a broach, if you really want to.  I am mentioning this as we are not doing much in the line of schoolwork, at the moment.  I remind myself that they are always learning, even when, and perhaps especially when, I am not teaching them.

Tomorrow we leave Still Bay for two nights, to visit our friends who are vacationing in Jeffrey’s Bay, four hours away along the garden route.  Four hours by road sounds so much better than 26 hours by air!


  1. Hi Emma, I didn't realize you were on your trip, how wonderful. It looks like you are making the most of every day, I hope you all continue to have a lovely (and safe) time.
    Happy travels,

    1. Thank you Lori, I am amazed at how the time flies! Are we really here, and will it soon be over? In just a couple of days we will start the long trek northwards... Springbok, then Mariental, then Tsumeb, ending in the Caprivi!