Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cooling off.

It's been super hot the last couple days, so we decided to cleatn out the wading pool so the kids could cool off a bit. We were quite surprised when we took off the cover and found this little frog that had made himself at home in the pool.

Sage petting the frog, and Sequoia making sure she doesn't squish it.

Sage kept getting in the pool to swim with him. He eventually decided the pool wasn't the best place to live and went on his way. :) Can't help but wonder if this is one of the tadpoles we raised and released.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sage in the Garden

i love pictures of kids in the garden. Here are a couple of my recent favorites.

Sage helping to pick peas.

My little pea thief.

Framed in by the scarlet runners, purple climbing beans and nasturtium.

Common garden sage. :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

World of Reptiles

Our local library always has really cool things going on for the kids in the summer. This week, we attended the World or Reptiles presentation. Some local folks who own a reptile farm, brought in a bunch of different critters. They gave an informative presentation, which was a bit too long for the age group, and then allowed the kids to hold and pet many of the different reptiles.

The presenters showing off a chameleon.

Sequoia holding a King snake

The kids petting an iguana, and Sage chatting all about it.

Sequoia holding a Ball Python

Sage's favorite reptile, this big tortoise.

Sequoia holding a Bearded Dragon.

Sage petting the Bearded Dragon. She was totally fearless, and pet all the reptiles. She even tried to kiss the python. :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Picnic at Panther Creek

This evening as a special treat we ordered pizza and drove over to Panther creek for a picnic. We sat on the rocks at the edge of the creek, and enjoyed the sound of rushing water and peacefulness of the area.

When we were finished eating, Kenan took the kids into the creek to play. The creek is quite shallow in most places, with lots of rocks to sit on. We say a huge blue heron walking in the water a ways down the creek.

While the kids played in the water, i did a bit of exploring.

This little moth was on the rock were we picnicked. His wings didn't develop correctly, when he was in his cocoon. So he wasn't a strong flier although he was trying. We moved him away from the water, and back up into the shrubs and weeds. This little guy is a Locust underwing moth.

i also snapped this picture of a pretty blue damsel fly.

i'm not sure what this is, but there was a lot of it blooming at the edge of the creek.

The entire area is in a bad drought and the lack of rain this year is having an effect on everything. The small rocky streams and runs where we usually like to play and explore were extremely low, almost dry. So we didn't stay and play that long. Just long enough for the kids to fill their bellies with pizza, enjoy a bit of family time and get totally soaked in Panther creek.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Today we visited Sequoia's friend Sara, and her new Dwarf Nigerian goats. These are the breed of goats i am hoping to eventually get and i was really eager to see them. They are considered miniature dairy goats, producing up to 2 quarts of milk a day despite their tiny size!
They are absolutely adorable and the kids love them!

Sequoia and Sarah trying to pet the goats, Sage not quite sure yet.

This is the male i believe his name is Cosmos. How can you not love a face like that?

This is the female, i don't remember her name. :( She was very tiny and sweet. She is full grown, and smaller than my beagle, Sampson.

Sage adored the gaots and chased them all over the yard yelling, "kiss, kiss goats!"

She also really loved Hamburger, the cow. He's still a calf, and very sweet. He kept liking the top of her head. She had a long conversation with him, about his ears and tail and nose. We had a good time watching the chickens, chasing the goats around and talking to the cow. Sarah's family is planning to get a couple Alpaca in the future. We can't wait to come back and see them!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Floyd playdate.

This summer, with Sequoia out of school we've been going to story time each Wed. usually followed by a trip to the Floyd park to play before coming home. This Wed. we had a planned play date with a few of Sequoia's friends.

Sage is my daredevil, showing off some fancy moves on her horse.

Sequoia was the first to volunteer to be buried up to his neck in the sand. We had a fun time shaking out all his clothes before heading home. lol. These are his friends Daisy and Reuben. The park was busy for once, and they're were plenty of kids to play with. We stayed much longer than we had intended and missed the insect documentary that was playing at the library that afternoon. i don't think the kids really minded.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Summer fun.

On Saturday, i took the kids to see the Barefoot puppets at the library in Floyd. The show we saw was called the African trickster tales about a sneaky spider named Anansi. It was really good show, entertaining for both parents and kids. After the show the puppeteers answered questions, and showed the children how all the puppets worked and how they were made. It was a lot of fun for everyone. Afterwards we spent an hour at the park.

On Sunday, we took a family trip to Fairy Stone park. It's a really nice park, with a childrens swimming area that is very shallow. It has lots of fun water toys, like fountains and a slide to keep the kids entertained. We packed a picnic lunch, and spent the afternoon swimming and playing on the playgound. Fairy stone is known for it's abundance of rare staurolite stones...known as fairy stones.

We usually hike for fairy stones when we come (although, we've never found one) This time we didn't. We just spent the whole time swimming and playing. It was in the low 90's and we all enjoyed cooling off in the lake. It was a bit more crowded than i like, but the kids had a blast and didn't seem to mind.

Sage was a bit apprehensive about the water at first, but it didn't take her long to get comfortable in it. She was running, jumping and having a great time. It made for a nice break from our usual routine.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

One berry , two berry, pick me a blueberry.

We are in complete berry heaven here! Even with my kids raiding the bushes every time we step outside, i'm still getting a ton frozen. We've been getting blueberries for while, and the bushes are still loaded. They really did well this year, it has just been an amazing year for berries. The black raspberry season is just beginning to wrap up, although i am still finding quite a few out there. These were all picked yesterday.

The blackberries are just coming into season, and we picked about a pint. Some were still a bit tart, but Sage didn't seem to mind. She would pick off the red ones and still say Yum, yum! Yuck! :) These blackberries grow wild all along the edge of the woods, and in another week or two, we'll be able to go out and pick gallons of berries. They are literally everywhere, plump and sweet...with a bit of tart. Yum.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Play date.

On Monday, Sequoia had a play date with one of his school friends. She is the daughter of one of the guys on the construction crew. Honestly, she would not be my first choice for a play date. She has the reputation of being... a bit difficult to handle. So i admit, i was not really looking forward to having her here for the afternoon.

However, i was pleasantly surprised. Katie was very well behaved, and her and Sequoia played fabulously together. She was maybe a bit bossy, but i think Sequoia needed that. As she got him to play some different things that he normally wouldn't have. They shopped at the farmer's market, and cooked fancy dinners at the play kitchen, which they served up for Sage and i. They really seemed to have fun together.

Then her mom pulled up, and she instantly transformed into that child i had heard about. The minute she saw her mother, she grabbed a bucket, filled it with water from the rain barrel and dumped it over Sequoia's head! Her mom yelled at her and she ran back to the water barrel, filled the bucket and dumped it over her own head several times...then jumped fully clothed into the kiddie pool. She obviously didn't want to go home. In less then 30 sec. she was naughtier than i have ever seen a child be. lol. i was completely flabbergasted. Her mother didn't even seem fazed!!

As sweet as she was, i'm just not sure we'll have her back any time soon.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Weekend Visitors.

This weekend was full of unexpected visitors. Our first visitor was rather unwelcome, a large red fox that snatched three chickens out of the yard in the middle of the day. The rest of the chickens are now locked in the pen indefinitely, until the fox decides to move on and eat someone else's chickens.

Our next visitor was this big fat toad, that seemed quite happy to munch bugs in my flower beds. i've been hearing him in there for a while, but he just finally made his appearance this weekend.

The kids love toads and frogs, and Sage insisted this one was a froggy. After correcting her several times and explaining that it was actually a toad, i finally gave up and called it a froggy. She looked up at me and replied, a froggy-toad? lol. The toads around here are all a pretty rust red color, and i'm guessing they might be stained from the red clay soil. It stains everything. :)

We were also visited by a lovely Buckeye butterfly. i don't see these very often, and this is only the second one i've ever photographed. It hung around for quite a while, sunning itself in the driveway.

Another visitor was this lovely Painted lady butterfly. We tend to see a lot of these during the summer, but this was one of the first i've seen recently. Now that we have had rain, the butterflies have begun to swarm. We've been seeing a ton of fritillaries, and the swallowtails and brushfoots have just begun to show up. We haven't seen the monarchs yet, but they should be coming soon. The milkweed and orange butterfly weed is in full bloom everywhere.

Our last visitors were honeybees. Lots and lots of them. Buzzing about the garden, pollinating our squashes and pumpkins and cucumbers. With all the talk of disappearing honeybees, we were very happy to see so many happily buzzing about. These busy bees were packed inside a female zucchini flower, hopefully ensuring pollination and lots of tasty zucchini. Unlike the fox, these are the visitors that we welcome.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Sage on a Saturday.

Just a few of my favorite pictures taken over weekend. This dress was a birthday present from Sage's Great Aunt Kathy. It's so cute on her! i love this picture of her in front of the lavender.

We took a hike down the road to look for monarch caterpillars and blackberries. Sage loves to pick the dandelion heads and blow the seeds everywhere.

We found masses of milkweed, but no caterpillars yet. The blackberries are just beginning to ripen, and we picked a good handful to munch on. In another week, the bushes will just be overflowing with ripe berries. The is has been a great year for all the local fruit!

We stopped down at the bottom of the hill to visit our neighbors. We brought them a pint of fresh picked blueberries, and a bouquet of wild flowers we had collected on our way down the hill.

Their beagle had a litter of puppies a few weeks ago. They only have one puppy left now. Sage absolutely adored it. i think the puppy liked her too.