May 14, 2008

Of Turtles and Frogs

The season is upon us finally. Ciaran was beginning to feel it was never coming with the crazy weather and my surgery. Today we went to a nearby favorite pond to look for frogs and turtles. As I expected we did not see any frogs but we did see many turtles. We walked along the pond watching them sunning themselves on branches and diving into the water, stopping now and then to watch them or examine some other interesting thing we saw.

We found a spot they seemed to really enjoy about a dozen swimming around. I sat down on the ground and watched the kids watch the turtles for about a half hour. They managed to catch one believe it or not and carefully we examined it and carried it home. They will release it tonight but it is fun for them to care for one for a day or two and they are very careful filling a bucket with pond water and setting things up for the turtle to have a nice mini habitat. They named this turtle FireStripes for the coloring on the inside of the shell. They have been excited observing it and I think they might sketch the turtle later this afternoon.

While I still wish it was about 10 degrees warmer here the sunshine feels glorious so I can't really complain. After rain, clouds and cold weather we will take what we get.

Ciaran is still looking forward to the first frog of summer. We hear them at night and at certain marshes we pass by but he has only caught glimpses of them as they dive into the water. I remind him the season is not upon us yet but will be soon enough and to enjoy the one we have now.

We have been making weekly trips to the local arboretum to see the progress of the flowers and trees. Each year the kids pick out a rose bush to study. We draw sketches and watch their rosebush from winter through fall. It makes the best project because the experts care for it and we get to see the full transition and all the information we want is available to us. We also have our favorite places we go each time we are there. Right now the daffodils are in full bloom, the tulips are coming along and will likely be in full bloom this week. We look forward to the irises which usually bloom around my birthday time. The Magnolias and rhododendrons are in blossom and the other trees are starting to bud. The crab apples still don't have any buds to speak of and it seems as if overnight many trees grew their leaves!

Baseball is still cold. Was wearing my winter coat, mittens and a fleece blanket for last nights game under the lights. We left the field at 9pm and I wondered when it would ever be a warm great ball game night? The kids don't seem to notice though they just run and jump up and down in place to keep warm. Of course if this was the weather in January we would all probably be wearing shorts :)

Trying to spend as much time outdoors as we can especially now while the neighborhood is still quiet and I can enjoy being with just my kids. Soon enough all of school will be out and my kids will be off to play with the neighbors more and more. I am glad they get along with the neighbors but it is also nice when it is just the four of us enjoying our neighborhood parks and paths. As we watch the school buses leave and return from the day I think my kids appreciate more and more that they worked to get their school done in time to have off most of the month of May. Especially on glorious days like today.

Off to spend more time in the yard with the trampoline and bikes. Might even be brave enough to try a small baseball catch with Ciaran. Just a few more weeks until my recovery is complete. Seems it gets harder to wait each day as the mercury rises.


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