We went for a walk the other day and we ended up at the construction site at the end of our road. They are building a new school and we watched as the big machines moved boulders, and huge pieces of concrete, and dumpsters. B watched the workers carefully, and then he became a worker moving things around, and tossing sticks onto a rubbish pile. M was very interested in the sounds of the machines. As we were watching I realized that the mound we were standing on was full of quartz crystals. Some were so big that, though we dug around them with sticks and the earth was soft and muddy, we couldn't lift them or even find their bottoms. Others were palm sized which was perfect because they were easy enough to carry, but wouldn't be a choking hazard at home. We brought a few of them home for our nature table. We spent the next day washing and scrubbing them so we could see their sparkles.
As we approached home we found a huge branch that had fallen from the tree out front. I was pretty sure it had fallen because of the wind we had recently, and not because it was rotten. I looked it over and told B we could take it inside to our porch to saw it up. As we carried the branch to the door, however, it became clear that it was not going to fit up the stairwell and through out living room to the porch. So. I dashed inside and grabbed our saws (my sharp saw and B's play saw) and we sawed up that branch right there on the front stoop. We got some great looks from our neighbors as we worked. It was interesting to notice how obvious the man made cuts were next to the natural curves of the branch. I tried my best to preserve that which had made the branch attractive in the first place. We got four nice sized "scenery" pieces.