Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Thea Belle Turns Two!

Yesterday Thea Belle turned two! My folks came up Sunday night and Brad's folks came Monday afternoon for her party last night. In the morning we played it easy with some time at the park. (Saturday Thea Belle fell face-first while running and scraped her nose up -- just in case you wondered what was going on there.)


Grilled cheese! Applesauce! Chips! Green Beans!

Eating the party dinner with Rose Miller

Deke, Ike, Atticus and Cal

Grandparents, Aunt Bekah, Eric Miller bonding with Atticus

Happy Birthday Chocolate Ice Cream!

Eric, Liz (and Owen) Berget!

Atticus and Grandma Nancy

Costume change for presents!


Liz and Owen!

Bekah's photo of my dad, Lincoln and Grandpa Tom

Rose & Thea Belle are Two Together!

Reading with Grandpa Tom & Grandma Nancy before they leave for Iowa and Thea Belle goes to bed

Early this morning before Grandpa Gary and Grandma Susan left for Wisconsin (Atticus had just left for school)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Corn Feeding Moron Face

So recently we went to a cornfest (or as Liz put it a "corn feed" which I particularly like) at the Bergets. It was delicious -- the Mexican style with the white gunk and the cheese that looked like grated parmesan and the chili and Jalapeno sprinkle stuff -- THAT was awesome!!! Liz' photos are worth seeing here. Especially since she captured Atticus' best (worst) cross-eyed-moron face to date. Really. Go see.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Quaking Bog Beauty

Over in Theodore Wirth area of The Cities there is a beautiful wooded hiking area that we have been to many times. But the part we usually go to is the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden -- a perfect length of trails for little people and well-tended with extremely patient, kind, kid-friendly park rangers. I'd seen another area farther on from the Wildflower park called Quaking Bog but had never stopped. Last week I took the kids. It was supposed to be an hour long activity and then I had packed lunches with water bottles for everyone (that I left in the car). Then we proceeded into the absolutely beautiful, perfect-weathered-day forest. Somehow a loop of a trail turned into 2 hours of hiking (half of which was me completely lost with a 6,4,3 and 2 year old. (I ended up carrying Thea for the last 1/2 hour.) I'm not sure where I turned wrong, but I was completely disorientated. Oh well. Because we finally found the bog and it was completely and utterly worth it. One of the most beautiful places I have found in the cities. A bog is a wetland found in a cold-climate, short-growing-season climate. Here is an interesting (if you like knowing about vegetation and history and habitat type things, like I do) link explaining a little more about the bog. I wished that three people, especially, had been there -- Brad, my dad, and Olga Helmy -- Olga! -- there are sun dews in this bog -- but I had the kids with me and so couldn't go slow enough to find them. I didn't know sun dews were in this area!! (They are pretty carnivorous plants -- hooray!)

Atticus was annoyed with me by this point -- tired and hungry and trying very hard not to be impressed by the bog -- though the other kids were pretty enthusiastic.

The ground was mostly sphagnum moss and very sponge-y --- the plastic walkways were sort of spring-y suspended over the ground -- neat, strange. The only other time I've ever walked on this kind of turf was up in Alaska when I visited my friend Olga at Denali National Park.

So pretty too!

See how it looks like zillions of stars?!

See the mushroom?

Thea Belle liked it because it looked like a pancake.


I think they are birch trees because their bark is more papery, shred-dy than aspen, right?

Is it purple loosetrife? It looks too delicate to be that -- more like a phlox -- but I am not sure.


What kind of mushroom is this? I could only find that it is in a group commonly called cup fungi.