Monday, November 28, 2011

Bird Fight on My Hand

This is from our latest visit to Campbell River Valley Regional Park. Last summer you could say the birds were interested in the seeds on our hands, but now that it's winter they were downright enthusiastic. We couldn't keep them away! It is truly a unique experience to have these little creatures perched on your fingers.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cubs Do the Strangest Things

Last week in cub scouts the entire pack assembled outside of Top Pot Doughnuts - the place where Grampa Tommy takes all the kiddos when he's visiting. They assembled "LED Throwies" which included a magnet

and then pitched them up at the big doughnut where some dads were waiting to straighten things out and make it look good.

I'm still not clear as to exactly why they did this, but at the end of the event, the big doughnut was twinkling with tiny multicolored lights and everyone got a glazed old fashioned to go.

Not bad for a pack meeting!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Portland Mini-Trip

Last weekend we drove down to Stumptown for a quick visit. It was my darling niece's 7th birthday so we packed up a batch of gluten free cupcakes, a few little gifts, and headed down. The best present of all, of course, was just for all the cousins to run around together.

We spent quite a bit of Saturday at the park where Pritam had a soccer game and our kids got busy on the seesaws which was a novel experience for them. After the game we rambled in Forest Park to enjoy the fall colors and it was there where we saw our first ever crawdad and this strange little mouse.

I don't know if something was wrong with him or what, but he was perfectly comfortable nibbling on a seed pod right in the middle of a heavily used path.

He was the size and shape of small grey pom pom and had very clean looking, delicate white feet. Was he was a baby?? In the end we shooed him across the path and into the forest duff on the other side.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cubs in the House

After sitting for a year on the waiting list, the boys finally got spots in Pack 144, Washington's oldest cub scout pack and one of the oldest in the country - over 80 years running. The pack has close to 100 boys and they meet weekly at a local elementary school to do all kinds of fun and crazy stuff. Tonight they're running around in the park next to our house playing Capture the Flag in the dark (and the rain!) with glow sticks. It's pretty impressive!

Over the course of the school year they have 4 weekend long campouts and the first was a few weekends ago to Blake Island. The island is only accessible by boat so all the gear had to be packed up and lugged onto a chartered boat. These photos are from that first trip. You might want to get comfortable; there are a lot of photos here!
The pack is primarily a dad and son pack so with the boys in separate dens, Chris is very busy! Beck is a Wolf Cub and Yogi is a Tiger Cub.

They had unseasonably warm, clear weather for the first night and day.
That's the Space Needle you can see through the tent window!
Fishing was a big hit with both the boys.

Yogi got a "segment" (small patch) for his shirt for participating in the sea otter swim and believe me, he earned it! That water is cold! Beck impressed his den mates with his double s'more. On Saturday night they had a candlelight ceremony for all the new boys earning their Bobcat badge. Both Beck and Yogi participated.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Brand New!

Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome a brand new American citizen! Here she is holding the proof.

And with that, we have completed our adoption. I guess you're technically not required to apply for citizenship for your adopted baby, but it was always our intention and we're finally done. The new hair style is compliments of her preschool teacher, Metti.

And just for fun, here she is at the beginning of our journey together three years ago. This was taken within an hour of meeting her:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Cabin Trip Part 2

(Look carefully at Yogi's hand.)
Ok, this is the craziest thing that's happened to us on the trail! When we first started down the path at Campbell River Valley Regional Park we noticed that the Chickadees and Nuthatches were acting very strange: hovering right in front of us, buzzing around us - just not the way typical birds act. And then later down the trail we ran into some people with sunflower seeds on their hands and the birds were landing briefly, grabbing a seed, and then flying off. The people kindly offered our kids some seeds and much to their delight, the birds immediately began perching on their hands. Sometimes they would land and stare for a long time. Other times they would pick through all the seeds looking for just the right one before taking off again. It really was a major thrill for all of us!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

On the Trail

Well, hello again. My last post was from the spring and now we're done with summer. Not the weather; that finally just arrived! The last 8 days have been over 80 and today it's close to 90 which is more like late July / August weather. But enough about that. Chris prepared all sorts of pretty pictures from our last trip of the summer so I'm here to share those along with a few words of explanation.

It was a fantastic summer - a trip to Hawaii, a family session at summer camp in Eastern Washington, relatives visiting, and nice times with those that live here, and finally we spent a week up at the cabin. It was a week of rambles through the woods, on the beaches, and in some new parks we discovered just across the border in B.C. A week of rest hours and campfires, and happy hours with chips and salsa on the deck.

This first batch of photos are from the trail. Above you see us at Crescent Beach in B.C. Here's a bit from their community page that captures the feel of the village nicely:
A sense of peace permeates the shady back lanes, and a walk along the ocean front path passes history in the form of rustic log houses, beach front cottages and heritage homes nested in mature trees.

We spent our time on Blackie's Spit, a nature preserve and home to a large variety of interesting birds. Chris caught this Goldfinch mid-air!
The next few photos were taken at Serpentine Fen Bird Sanctuary. We saw more blackberries than birds, but we did get to watch a Great Blue Heron catch and gulp down several fish.

This next one was taken on the "Listening Bridge" at Campbell River Valley Regional Park (more about what we saw there in the next post!).We walked through old growth forest (though this picture doesn't show the big trees) at the Stimpson Family Nature Preserve. The trail was so quiet in there with the thick forest duff.

Here we are at Aldergrove Lake Park.

And finally Beck, Chris, and I high stepped it through the tall grass to check out the heronry.Unlike last spring, it was very quiet so we thought the whole place was empty. But suddenly we heard some loud grunting, squawking, brawling noises and looked up to see a heron coming in for a landing - apparently with some food for her hungry family. They must have nested later than most.