Since the fall... the fourth graders at our school have been working on a State Project. Each child selects a state and then does a ginormous 5 month long project that ends with a States Expo in the gymnasium. A visual presentation of what they learned about their state. They have to make 3 maps, 3 charts, and do 3 projects. They collect information and products from their state and then put it all together. It's a great project.. but I'm glad this is our last time doing it.
Ms. Thang chose Vermont... which has been much more enjoyable then Utah which was our last state to research. The nice thing about Vermont (other than the great people who've been happy to send us stuff) is that it's right next door and we can go visit. Yesterday we drove out to Bellows Falls, then down along the river to Brattleboro and came back.. a nice loop to drive on a sunny winter day. We stopped at different places and took pictures of different things. They sky started to darken with the storm on it's way.. and one of the last places we stopped at was a pond behind The Brattleboro Retreat. The retreat is a mental health and addictions treatment center (though an old link listed it as "Vermont's Insane Asylum".. which I'm sure it was at one time) that houses 58 buildings in a lovely setting. The buildings are old and beautiful which was what caught my eye in the first place.
But the real treasure, was the bobhouses on the pond. A bobhouse is a shanty that is placed on the ice to keep ice fishermen from being exposed to the harsh weather for too long. They are generally constructed elsewhere, and then plopped on the frozen ice once the conditions are favorable. They typically stay on the ice (unless moved to take elsewhere) until the spring thaw, when fish and game gives the "get your house off the ice" warning. There's an old saying that every lake has at least one bobhouse at the bottom.
Ms. Thang had never seen a bobhouse, so we had fun checking them out. One guy had his dog out there. One guy had smoke coming out of his.. but my favorite was this one. I love the grill outside. It reminds me of a summer cottage... in a frozen wonderland.