Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mint Springs Take II

 Joshua said, "this is the first time I ever sat in a chimney."

 The "magic brook"

 Running back to the lake

 I love Ella's hiking/lake attire

 High tech equipment!

Swimming out there soon!

Mint Springs again today.  Hunting morels, and nothing, despite all the indicators: tulip trees, may apples, moistness, and the whole place was an old apple orchard.  We did hike up to an old homesite which was pretty cool.  We found quite a bit of crockery and there were lots of pieces of melted glass.  Saw two snakes, a black and a garter.  Came back down and caught more critters.  Most of them we threw back, but we did add a couple of diving beetles, a snail, and some fresh water to our home aquarium.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

Surprise at Mint Springs

Downy Rattlesnake Plantain~ this is a new plant for me~ its is a type of orchid

 Gabey was proud of his fungi

 Someone looks mighty pleased with herself, no?

 Lots of good climbing rocks!

We were just going to stop by the lake to catch a few critters.... it was raining when we headed out....  Three hours later we had had a fabulous, sunny hike, explored a new trail, climbed rocks, discovered new flora, and the critters!  My!  We our now the careful keepers of:

1 salamander
1 bullfrog tadpole
1 medium sized tadpole
Many Many toad eggs that started hatching today!
1 tiny painted turtle
and (my favorite) 1 gloppy mud sucker, also know as a dragonfly nymph, named Tonks

The hike really was lovely~ that was the surprise~ this is the lake we swim at in the summer, but we had neglected the trails!

Friday, March 23, 2012

All in an afternoon

 We  came across this herd of longhorns not ten minutes from our house.  Shortly thereafter we spotted these beauties (below) gawking down the side of the road.  When they saw us (there were about 6 or 7) they all tried to poke themselves through the fence to safety.  Without success, they then FLEW over to the other side of the road!  I tried to position myself and camera through the sunroof to get a picture of them wings spread, flying over, but there is only so much one can do stopped in the middle of a curvy road.  Look at the tiny beard of the gentleman on the left and the grand, trailing beard of the tom on the left.  Note the iridescence.  I tend to agree with Ben Franklin that the turkey should be our national bird.

When we arrived home, Joshua called me over to see this "volcano" that the ants are building in a crack in the pavement.  They were working so steadily, carrying grains of dirt from under the cement to build up their home.  Joshua is sure they laid that pine needle across the top to serve as a bridge.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Yarn Along

I thought I'd join in with the yarn along this week, since I'm feeling knit happy:)  I'm knitting another pebble vest, same as I knit for Hannah when she was a newborn, just upsized.  I think it will be big and cozy and fit her next fall too!  I love the pattern, it's so easy that I find myself somewhat addicted.  As for my reading,  I had placed Madeleine L'Engle's Circle of Quiet on hold at the library, and when I brought it home and began reading, I realized after the first paragraph, that I've already read it!  So, I'm rereading, and enjoying.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

So this is Spring!

                The tulip trees across the way are growing green, the maples already fading to orange

                               Ella picked me this sweet bouquet and put it in an ivy leaf basket

 Joshua spent his entire day yesterday making this tree fort.  He was back up in it first thing this morning.

Tulip trees unfurling

First day of spring notes 2012:

*Saw first swallowtail yesterday, we've been seeing the little yellow sulphur butterflies for about a week 
*First bat sighting (also yesterday)
*Redbuds are peak~especially driving on Dry Bridge Rd.~WOW!
*Pulling ticks off children daily
*Mockingbird singing this morning sounded like summer
*First day outside in bathing suits, first water balloon fight
*peepers peepers peepers!
*frogs on the road tonight after a thunderstorm!

I'm including this goofy video here, for fun, and because Hannah looks cute.  I took it about two weeks ago and already so much has changed!  I am no longer filling the feeder (birds are hopefully eating bugs), but we'll be hanging the hummingbird feeder soon!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Hung a new swing today!  We were originally going to make a tire swing from one of the many old tires down in the gully, but they are all dried out and caked with muck that you just can't seem to ever get out.  So, we hit on this idea... just a branch from a tulip tree.  It's prettier and I think more fun too!  We had quite a time trying to hook the rope over the branch.  We had duct taped the rope to a ball, and everyone had to have a chance to prove their arm in getting it high enough to go over the limb and not snag in any of the smaller branches.  I finally got the glory, after many tries, and even a few suggestions that we needed to wait for daddy.  hmmm.  I'm not sure just how high it is, but you can see the trunk of the oak tree the swing is attached to in the last picture.  Let's hope the knot holds!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Good morning tender pea...
                                                                  you are a miracle.