Glass Flowers, Dead Birds, and Dolly Quilts

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Glass flowers

On Friday we met up with my sister-in-law and her family (her husband and six kids) at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. A couple of my former roommates were able to meet up with us too. It was a bit chaotic but quite fun nonetheless. Though with our crew outings are always far too short for my tastes. I like to do a whole day at the museum but Ben and Sophie and Anthony were pretty much maxed out by noon. I think Bella could have kept going but we had to leave to preserve familial peace.

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Glass flowers.

Still, it was worth the trip in to Cambridge and definitely worth the price of admission. The glass flowers exhibit alone was worth it. These 847 life-size models representing some 780 species and varieties of plants in 164 families, with over 3,000 detailed models of enlarged flowers and anatomical sections of various floral and vegetative parts of the plants. They were designed as teaching tools but they are also stunning works of amazing artistry. It is hard to believe just looking at them that they are made of glass. They look for all the world like real plants that have just been harvested complete with withered flower heads on some of the stems. (Here’s an article that tells more about them.) If you live in the Boston area or are planning a visit, I highly recommend this exhibit.

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Glass flowers

Saturday we spent a quiet day at home and I caught up on some much-needed housework, deep cleaning the children’s room (which hadn’t really been cleaned or vacuumed in a few months because I told myself this summer we were going to focus more on getting out and doing things than keeping the house tidy), organizing the front closet, storing some toys away in the shed to simplify things before the craziness of the Christmas season. By the end of the day I felt a deep satisfaction with the state of my house, such as I haven’t felt in a long time.

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Sophie eating a picnic lunch outside the Harvard Museum of Natural History

On Sunday afternoon my happiness with my tidy house translated into spending nap time in front of my sewing machine. I made dolly pillows for Bella, Sophie and Ben and began dolly quilts for Bella and Ben (at his special request). I’ve just finished a dolly quilt for Sophie in the last week.

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Bella and a cousin climb a tree outside of the museum while my brother-in-law looks on. Ben is running away from another cousin.

While I was sewing Bella came in from the back yard to tell me that she’d found a dead bird. I asked her what kind of bird and she couldn’t tell me so I went to get my boots on and out to help her make an identification. I was expecting a sparrow or some other little song bird. What I found instead was obviously a raptor of some kind that had been torn apart and partially eaten by some predator. My guess is it was a red tailed hawk; but I can’t be sure.

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Found feathers.

Today as we left for the grocery store I looked up to see a hawk in the tree in our backyard. As the kids all piled out of the car and followed me to the fence it swooped into a neighboring tree and alit there for a minute before flying off over the roof of our house the across the street to perch in a tree in the backyard across the street. Again, I couldn’t make a positive identification. I’m guessing this one was the mate of our dead bird. I know hawks are monogamous.

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Look closely in the middle tree and you can see the brown and tan shape of the bird perched on a branch. Once again my camera was out of batteries and I had to use my cell phone.

I don’t have any pictures of the dolly quilts. I’ll have to put them in another blog post.

5 Responses to Glass Flowers, Dead Birds, and Dolly Quilts

  1. Kathy November 30, 2011 at 4:40 am #

    Oh, Anthony, be careful!

  2. ex-new yorker December 1, 2011 at 2:10 am #

    Oh, scary! We anchor to the wall our furniture, TV, everything that could come down on a little one to serious injurious effect.

    Is “Project Anthony Watch” an allusion to Project [Bird] FeederWatch by any chance?

  3. Melanie Bettinelli December 1, 2011 at 4:35 am #

    ex new-yorker, It might have been a subconscious allusion. I was just looking at a website for the Massachusetts Hawk Watch and I’ve been aware of Project Feeder Watch. Somehow the title popped into my head without me thinking about it much. I don’t think about things much it seems these days. My brain is too tired.

  4. The Sojourner December 5, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    Oh, dear. His guardian angel deserves a pay raise.

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  1. How to visit Boston's museums with your family on a budget | Bettnet.com - July 18, 2014

    […] gone to the Harvard Museum of Natural History only once so far and thus have not purchased a membership. It’s about what you’d expect with lots […]

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