Thursday, June 28, 2012

I Think We Need A Sandbox, Mom

Each time Ben runs around the corner of the house, I know where he is going.
He has gone to dig in the dirt.

He runs from the kiddie pool to the dirt, and back, repeatedly while we are outside.

He is really only truely happy when he has mud on himself somewhere.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What's A Ladybug Say

The Count

Sweet Chatter While Playing

The End Of June

This Mr. is smart, cute and as handy as a pocket on a shirt! He is also a little crazy to want to build a fence in the heat of a 90 degree summer day. But last weekend, build, we did!

We have some obstacles to work around, but it is going in nicely. When it is all said and done, we will have a backyard that will keep in a boy and his ball. It will allow in a dog when she is willing to behave herself. Hopefully it will minimize the cheat weeds in her ears and coat as she dives into the grass, like an arrow, to fetch balls rolling down the hill.

I worked in the yard weeding, dragging branches to the burn pile, collecting rocks, bringing tools, scooping dirt, taking measurements, holding a shade umbrella, bringing cold drinks, moving the sprinkler, holding posts level, and whatever else I could do as David slaved away on the fence post holes. Where was our other helper, you may ask?

Ben was winding his flippy duck and splashing around in his water table. We sure could have used his big brother.

As hot, dirty and tiring as the fence building was, it was nothing compared to what Dylan has been doing. He is spending much longer hours, working much harder, fighting wildfire in much hotter conditions than this!

Benjamin will have his day behind a short handled shovel, no doubt.

For now, Ben is offering moral support, providing comic relief and joining us at snack time.

Our little pretzel-chomping land shark said, "Good job Daddy".

We rounded the SW corner of our property and headed for the pool!

... the kiddie pool, that is.

... in the shade ... with cold drinks!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wildfire in New Mexico

Dylan is in New Mexico, on assignment for the U.S. Forest Service. He is part of a Type 2 intial attack crew sent from Sandpoint. He has been working very hard in hot weather; protecting homes threatened by wildfires. We are so proud of him!

Both of the last two fires he has put out have been human caused. They have resulted in evacuations, roadblocks, public transportation cancellations and air quality warnings. This Fourth of July, while you are enjoying your fireworks and campfires, please remember that "Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires".

(This picture was taken in Idaho a few summers back. Great shot, Connie. Thank you.).

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

School is out for Summer

Our little big boy tried out the swings, and other playground equipment, at Corvallis Elementary School today.

He scaled the kindergarten play equipment with one hand.

He thought that was fun, but way too easy. It held his attention for about 2 minutes total.

He told me, in no uncertain terms, that he wanted to climb the big stuff.

"Gulp!" uttered his mother.

"Wheeee!" said Benjamin (over and over and over again).

It was all over. I did my best to just keep up with him. He climbed and slid, about a hundred times, with the skill of a 3rd grader.

There was a brilliant, newly-designed, See-Saw ("new" since the time when Dylan was little anyhow). There was also a row of old break-a-tooth teeter-totters with metal handles and wood planks too long for considerate physics play. You just know it is a matter of time before some dumb kid is going to jump off and let their play mate's rump plummet to the ground from about 4 feet up. However, I truly think old playgrounds may be the fertile ground where common sense is grown. Life Lesson #1: Choose your partner carefully.

It is a mix of older and newer equipment, but it is a pretty great playground. As Ben's first introduction to "going to school", it was pretty exciting.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Strange Little Bird

Hardly the "Blue Bird of Happiness", this wacky little critter followed Ben home last year some time (thanks a lot, Jerry). This year Ben has decided to "help it" peck worms out of the ground (note: the dried dirt on the bill).

It has "feasts" throughout my flower garden. It sounds like "slurp, slurp, slurp".

Ben has a knack for making good use of the tools at his disposal. Sometimes, he uses them the hard way. Always, it is quite messy.

A master of puzzles these days, Benjamin loves to work at his six-sided bug puzzle. He puzzles until his puzzler is sore. He has successfully completed all six designs on his own.

Benjamin also loves to sort and count things. Until I uploaded this picture it did not occur to me why he was singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" while he sorted. Hey, what can I say, the size 3T jammies fit great now that it is June.

I am not going to blame myself for this little number. He drug out the blankie, put it on his own head, and wandered around the yard like that while his Dad and I shook our heads and giggled.

Ben is a strange little bird; and that's just the way we like him.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Oh, Dear

The tomatoes are in the garden box. It looks like I could have a gardening helper.

However, when I showed Ben my other new plants, he was less than helpful.

No. No. I said "smell it" not "pick it"!

So, I put him to work feeding the fishes. He threw it in and said, "Fetch!".

I know... Ben LOVES watering plants. That will be his job.

He really wants mowing to be his job.

The dog, it would appear, is not doing her job. Mama deer felt it was a good idea to leave her fawn in our yard again this year.

When I took these fawn photos I was holding barefoot Ben in one arm and my camera with the other. Ben said, "Oh, cute! I want to pet it". Oh, dear deer.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Squirrel On My Game Cam

This could be a rare Petaurillus emiliae sighting (Lesser Pygmy Flying Squirrel)!

We have observed it eating fungi (Morels on pizza), fruits (grape fruit leather), bugs (an ant or two) and play dough (various colors)... although the latter was probably some omnivorous foraging substitute for slugs or some other hard to find food source.

It is possible that its claws and webbing have not yet grown long enough to assist with its youthful climbing and flying attempts.

The animal was observed combing dead trees and decaying logs in search of insects with little ability to harvest them. This appeared to cause some agitation for the young squirrel.

Its nest is an elaborate structure constructed by a previous inhabitant. It spends its time taking objects, placed in the nest by the mother, out into the field where they are stolen and torn apart by a wild canine.

It is an extremely active and inquisitive creature.

This squirrel 'pup' appears to always be accompanied by the 'doe' when leaving its nest. In fact, the mother has been observed tracking her adult young as far as the northern Idaho panhandle.

It showed no natural instinct to avoid predatory species such as owls, snakes or house cats.

In fact, its call sounded something like "here, kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty".

This squirrel pup has found a favorite perch and pats its paws in a rhythmic call to signal its dominance at the site.

It appears to be practicing its 'flying' motions with the inclusion of some unknown oral steering mechanism.

The female of this species cares for its young until they are ready to leave the nest, so there will be additional observation opportunities until funding is no longer available for this ongoing study.

Watch this website for further studies into the taxonomy, distribution, abundance, and ecology of this species.