May 2012 – other miscellaneous

I knew I was missing some things!

 

Fruit

We’re dipping our toes into gardening.  This year we decided to try a small container garden.  We have 3 food plants – strawberry, watermelon, and tomato.  Mine is the tomato, Jonathan chose the strawberry and watermelon (the girls picked flowers instead).   Here is Jonathan’s first strawberry.  He was so proud!

Beauty of the Earth

Some moments in which I was especially struck by the beauty around me:

It's hard to see, but this mother and father goose are leading goslings around the pond. I couldn't get any closer without getting warned by the parents. :)

I love the reflections on the water. And the green of the trees and grass. So beautiful!

A sunset from our back porch. I love looking out over the tree line!

Her own style

I generally let my children choose what they want to wear.  As long as it is modest and at least semi appropriate for the weather, I try not to worry about whether or not I think the clothes match or otherwise look good together.  This day though I felt especially struck with the fact that Emma had her own style:

Early morning. Long bright orange/yellow shirt, purple polka dot capri pants, and a random belt. And the unruly hair adds a nice touch, don't you think?

To be fair, I think she was wearing that shirt because she needed that color for field day.  And she added the belt to try to make it feel “prettier”.  Probably the pants too.

Better. She decided against the belt and did her hair (yes, that is a headband *and* hair bow). And smiled. That adds a lot!

Jonathan wanted to join in the picture taking fun, of course.

Sisters Playing Together

Emma was up late and I was bugging her to hurry up so she could get herself to bed.  Until she started playing with Abigail.  Then I didn’t have the heart to stop them.  So sweet!

(Warning – this is about 3 1/2 minutes long and may not be interesting to those outside the family.)  :)

I love how this catches Abby showing off her three trademarks – arm waving when excited (we say she’s trying to fly), the head side to side game, and her thumb sucking.  And it’s so fun to hear her laughing at Emma copying her!  :)

 

Injured Bird Adventure

There were a few days left of May after school let out and I decided to take a walk with the children every morning.  On the second or third day of this Jonathan found an injured bird – it was on the side of the road and couldn’t fly.  I told the kids to stay away from it, but they begged me to help it so it wouldn’t get hit.  I watched it intently.  It wasn’t limping and didn’t have any obvious damage, but it was holding one of its wings a little differently and it obviously couldn’t fly (if it could, it would have flown away from my children long before).  I finally decided to scoop it into the basket of the stroller – without touching it – and take it home to figure out what to do.  I certainly didn’t want a pet, even a temporary one, but I didn’t want to just leave it either.  I thought of books I’d read where the family takes care of an injured bird for a few weeks then lets it fly away when done and had mixed feelings about the whole thing.  We parked the stroller out front, gave it some bird seed from the kids’ bird feeders, and went inside to figure out what to do.

A quick internet search revealed some things: (1) it is illegal to keep injured birds in GA unless you have a special license to rehabilitate them (OK, so scratch the possibility of nursing it back to health, though I wasn’t sure that would work so well for us anyway), (2) do NOT feed them (OK, go back out and remove bird seed), (3) injured birds need to be kept in a cool, quiet, soft place – this calms them, decreasing the severity of any current injury and helping to prevent any new injuries.  Sometimes an hour or so of this will actually give them the chance to recuperate and they can then fly away.  So I found a shoe box, padded it as best as I could according to the instructions (nothing they could get their talons caught in), created plenty of air holes on top, taped the lid down so the bird couldn’t get out, and put it in my closet – a quiet, cool, dark place far away from my children.

Then I took care of the kids for a bit, then went back to reading.  And I came across an article outlining what to do when you find an injured bird, then mentioned that fledglings may sometimes be mistaken for injured birds.  Wait a minute.  I hadn’t even thought of that.  It was late spring.  Uh oh.  So I looked up more information on fledglings.  I found out that they tend to look about as large as adults and are often mistaken for an injured bird because they can’t fly and they often hold one or both wings a little differently, and they tend to chirp (as well as a few other bits of information I’ve now forgotten).  While they may look abandoned, they usually have one or more adults watching from afar, bringing them food when needed.

So now I realized I’ve not assisted an injured bird, I’ve kidnapped a fledgling.  At this point I called a licensed rehabilitor for direction (I found a list of phone numbers during my later search).  It had now been a couple of hours and I was afraid I’d permanently separated parent and child.  It had also gotten hot and I was nervous about returning the baby in the middle of the heat.  She reassured me and suggested I put the baby back where I found it (though when I mentioned I’d found it on the road then she said a shady area nearby would be fine too).  She told me that baby birds have a unique call that their parents will hear and respond to, so the parent could still find it.   That was a relief to hear!

So our adventure ended with us returning the flightless bird to the general area (though in the car this time rather than the stroller).  I took Jonathan and Emma with me to return it and explained to them the mistake I’d made.

It immediately started chirping.  We all went back to the car (parked on the other side of the street) and watched.  Within a few minutes, we saw another bird fly down and “check on it,” then fly away.  This happened a few times before we decided to leave.  It was definitely comforting to be able to see that!

The baby bird and parent (I'm assuming) are near the bottom middle of the picture, in the grass.

Art

Jonathan actually created this sign in February, but I just found the image and it was too funny to pass up.

Gnats: Take over bodies. Suck blood. Injure people.

Wow.  I had no idea gnats were so dangerous!  It does look rather alien-esk.

And here’s a sample of Katie’s art:

She has an interesting style – people start as big circles for the head, with two lines down for legs and two lines out the sides for arms.  I think this one is supposed to be me and her together, with the big one being me and the line between the eyes being my glasses.

One Response to “May 2012 – other miscellaneous”

  1. Just read this one. It is so fun to see the children and I love your comments. Be sure to keep all this and write a book! I miss my little children. I wasn’t able to be as sophisticated about pictures, etc. but I still get out the albums once in a while and remember. Thank you for these!

    Gramma

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