Monday, November 26, 2012

Impromptu Hike

On Saturday we were asked by some good friends if we wanted to go on a hike. It was cold out and windy, there had been a sprinkling of snow the night before and we had just returned on Friday from Thanksgiving in the States, however, due to overwhelming positive response from the younger people of varying sizes in the household, I reluctantly agreed. Don't get me wrong, I love hiking. However, I always do it with the aid of my better half, my taller and skinnier half, the half that can run and keep up with children, the half that carries the smallest of the clan when she gets overly whiny, that half was sleeping and couldn't come. Upon this was I reluctant. However, they needed to be out, to expend energy and having good friends along more or less clinched it. It had been my intention to go to the library and the craft store in the hour before we had to be there. I'm not sure what made me think we'd have time for that. Perhaps it was that all the good turkey from Thanksgiving had made me loose my mind, perhaps I was just tired and not thinking straight, whatever it was, by the time I had everyone pottied (spell check says that's not a word) and in warm coats (there was a certain 11 year old boy here who though all he needed was a light jacket and his short sleeved shirt in the barely 34 degree weather with an added wind chill!) with gloves and hats and whatnot, it was time to hit the road and try and make it there on time.
  I did manage to remember to bring a camera and my first aid kit in my messenger bag. The camera I brought was Mikes though and I was unaware that the batteries in it were pretty near dead. I was able to take 4 pictures! If you have been keeping tabs on us through this blog you must realize by now that to be given such a small number of pictures was heartbreaking. Such things should just not be so. However, Sebastian had brought his camera and took some photos, so, the first 4 are mine, the rest are Sam's. Thank you Sam. :-)
Here is the snow! It was only left where the sun hadn't hit it in the morning. It was enough to excite the children! Caleigh spent most of the time WITHOUT gloves picking it up and making it into balls and licking it or throwing it at people. How she managed with as cold as the weather was and as much colder than that that the snow was to be able to spend hours picking up snow and handling it without her hands turning black and falling off I will never know.

More snow, that's Eva there in the blueish-green coat. She had mittens on at this point. That didn't last long. She was trying to handle the snow but found it cumbersome with the mittens on, so, the mittens came off! We put them on several times after that, but never for long and she'd give them back.
Here's the little cutie! She had a pink hat on under her hood, but it was too big and kept falling over her eyes. She didn't appreciate that and the warmth of the hat wasn't enough enticement to keep it on vs not being able to see. So, the hat stayed in my bag the rest of the trip. She did keep checking on it though, she made sure at periodic intervals that I still had it.
And here is my last photo. I found out shortly after this that there was, sadly, no battery life left in the camera. Way out yonder there is Ruth and Jay. They are friends that homeschool their boys. This hike was their idea. :-) Thank you Ruth!
After a bit of hiking (a bit longer for me and Eva since she was hard to motivate) we came across a bevy of birds that were eager to partake in the seeds that Ian had so fortuitously brought with him. There were nuthatches and chickadees galore! The kids had a ball and Ian graciously shared his seeds. This is Ian here. He's 11 like Sam. He's trying to convince a hesitant nuthatch to partake of his free seeds. The nuthatch was not so easily convinced.
This is Ian with a friendly chickadee on his hand. They were more than willing to take his seeds.
Here is Caleigh feeding a friendly, neighborhood chickadee. She's an exuberant bird feeder. She LOVES feeding birds and feels personally slighted if they go to eat from someone else's hands. You see Aurora in the green jacket between Ian (boy in black) and Caleigh? She is actually trying to feed birds! This is a momentous occasion. She has here-to-fore NEVER seriously tried to feed birds. She would make half-hearted attempts, but never REALLY tried and guess what....
SHE DID IT!!! See that tiny little chickadee on the edge of that blue, gloved hand? That's Rora!!! That's her little head with the black hat on. SHE DID IT!!! YA!!!! She wouldn't try it without gloves on, but she did it!! Maybe someday she'll manage to trust the birds to land on her bare hand, but until then, we're headed in the right direction! Aurora is finally a bird feeder!!!
This is Joshua's hand. Joshua LOVES Rora and Caleigh. They all get along so well. Joshua is 6, he's a sweet little boy. He's a good bird feeder too.
I'm not sure who this is, I think it's Sam and Caleigh is in the background. She decided to try to attract birds somewhere else since all the taller kids were hogging the birds right here.
And here is our last picture. This is a woodpecker I believe. It's kind of hard to tell being back lit and all, but there he is.

Thank you for coming to visit us again. I want to make a special shout-out to my grandfather. "Hi Grandpa!!" We had a great visit with him and Grandma and Aunt Kim while we were down on Thanksgiving. It was great to see you guys. :-)

Have a wonderful day!

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