Wednesday, July 23, 2008
where the wild things are
Sunday we took a drive to Lone Elk County Park. I love that place because the kids and Nate can be close to Nature and I can be with them and we're all happy (the power of a/c, love it!) We saw lots of deer and even a few elk. They are huge! Jimmy was really excited and would say "Hey, there a melk over there, a melk, a melk, a melk."
Yesterday the kids and I attended an activity called "Year of the Frog" through a local nature center. It seemed like a good thing to do two weeks ago when I signed us up. Billed as an activity for all ages, I didn't think twice about bringing a two year old. Five minutes before we arrive at the location (which was a bit farther than I bargained for) it starts pouring sheets of rain. Yes, this was to be an outdoor activity. No problem, the Naturalist on hand, Miss Amy, had us gather in the little building and she taught us a lesson on frogs, toads, salamanders, etc. Way over the head of J, but he did enjoy sitting on his chair and raising his hand when the other kids did - at least for a few minutes. Then he just wanted to climb on all the chairs, move the chairs he wasn't climbing on, run around the room, and make his way to the top of the tables. Finally it was time to pet the bull frog and toad which was a great opportunity for Jimmy to poke the toad in the eye. Turns out toads don't have great eye sight any way so I decided not to worry about it. After that the clouds parted and it was out to the pond. Yes, a real Pond right in the middle of Nature. As we gather outside Miss Amy says, "Umm, this nature area is well known for its ticks and chiggers." Oh, great Miss Amy, thanks! And thanks to the folks at the nature center who organized this for not telling all of the Moms this so we could be properly attired. Then as we approach the actual pond (with Jimmy running full speed ahead - one of his new favorite phrases when we're driving "full speed ahead, mama") Miss Amy says, "Okay everyone, lets look at this plant that is growing right here (on a step we all need to walk right past to get to the pond), its a three leaf plant and no one can touch it because it is called Poison Ivy." What do you think 2 and 3 year olds want to do when someone says, 'okay everyone, look at this'. That's right, they want to touch it! Somehow I could tell that I should just scoop up Sir James and we managed to avoid contact with said plant. In the meantime we scooped out snails, tadpoles, salamander larvae, and lots of gunk from the pond. Grace LOVED it. So much that she's decided to be a Naturalist herself - one that studies tadpoles and frogs and dogs and cats. Oh, and did I mention J tried many times to drink the pond water? As soon as we got to the car I stripped J of his shoes, socks, and shorts as they were more wet than the pond itself and discussed with Grace that if she really wants a pet frog she'll be the one to catch the crickets to feed it, not me. Upon arrival at home it was straight to the tub for them while I called Nate and said "Tell me everything I need to know about ticks and chiggers." Somehow we escaped our natural experience unscathed. And to think we've been planning to go camping this weekend. AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!