Saturday, May 13, 2017

From Nighthawk with Love

This is with great emotion that we are closing the Nighthawk School. It has been an intense but extraordinary experience.

The children did the presentations of their last projects yesterday afternoon. Jules presented the weather station he built and the last humanities/cultural subjects he researched with his sister: Secular Government, Rule of Law, Presumption of Innocence, Burden of Proof and Right to a Fair Trial. The children and I are leaving next week for an incredible road trip to Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Utah.

They both have packed away their work yesterday evening. The boxes will be shipped to Australia soon. I hope this year will stay within their best childhood memories. They will for me.

Peter has been the most incredible, patient and dedicated teacher, but also support system and sometimes housekeeper, while working on his full time job from home. We would have never done this without him.

Nighthawk, we love you, and we will miss you.

Happy Summer y'all!

And never stop learning.


Sand & The Longfields.

Monday, May 8, 2017


Potential Hydrogen, solution and dilution.

Using spa products, we were able to create a base (Sodium carbonate) and an acid (Sodium bisulfate), to compare to the ‘usual’ vinegar which we have been using for years for volcanoes and other Halloween props.

Whereas not very accurate, pH paper strips are very convenient to measure the pH of a solution. We discovered that the pH is measured on a range that goes from 0 to 14. Even though the solutions we made did not cover this whole range, our 'spa acid' read at pH=1 which is pretty low! The acid solutions have their pH between 0 and 7, the base between 7 and 14. Naturally, water is neutral and its pH is around 7. When mixing up an acid and a base – the pH of the resulting solution is in-between the values of the two original solutions. Starting with an acid with a very low pH (1), to reach a neutral pH (7) we had to add (progressively) a lot of base pH (9). When diluting a base or an acid in water – the pH gets closer to 7.

How to quantify this? Starting with 3 drops of acid with pH=1 in 27 drops of water (dilution 10x), the pH goes up one step. Three drops of this solution in 27 drops of water (so now the dilution is 10x10=100x), now the pH is up to 3. And so on. The pH scale is not linear ; every time the dilution is timed by 10, the pH increases by 1.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Hummingbirds & Weather Station

Spring time is synonym of growing a veggies and herbs patch at Nighthawk. We cannot grow as much as we could in the valley. Deers are so fond of lettuce sprouts! The children mostly grow tomatoes, strawberries and herbs. This year we have set up a hummingbird flower bed and a feeder and also a weather station with a small greenhouse growing native plants. Jules is in charge of collecting the datas every day. At the end of the Summer he will have to write an informative/summary document.

Rhubarb is a bear repeller. Always plant some near your cabin!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Hunting Season

One of the most enlightening experience for us, while we lived at the cabin and into the wild, was to learn about self-defence on bear and mountain lion territory and hunting. I used to have so many preconceived ideas and opinions. But we learnt (or I finally remembered) we are part of Nature and its extraordinary life cycle, and Humans should be proud of who they are, beautiful carnivorous beings. I met the most amazing people and wildlife lovers in our hunting community. They respect the wild like no one, as their survival depends on it. They are humble and grateful. It is an incredible amount of work to feed a family this way and it is so much more honorable than shopping meat from a supermarket... Thank you Mat for your teaching. We had the most delicious wild turkey soup made by Abby!

Our wonderful friend Mat on a wild turkey hunt


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Alaska II

And it keeps on being incredible! Orcas, sea lions, gray whales, beautiful foods, fjords, bears, wolves...

Friday, March 3, 2017


Alaskan Huskies and Malamutes, mushing in the Polar Circle. Wonderful experience.