Monday, October 24, 2011
This afternoon my son and I played with the Garbled Marbles he received as a birthday gift last month. They are super absorbent tiny beads that expand into marble-sized super bouncy balls after about two hours in water. He got so excited watching them grow as we checked on them every 30 minutes or so. When we judged they had stopped expanding, the trayful of wet, bouncy marbles entertained him for at least another hour.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
The ways that having children has encouraged me to grow as a person have been frequently unexpected. For the second time in the last few months, I picked up a stray. The first time was an injured hiker at Dismal Falls. He needed a ride to a nearby spot in order to meet up with friends who would get him home. Inviting a strange man into my car with my two young children was a nerve-wracking experience, but one I knew to be The Right Thing to Do. I opened the back of my car so he could put his pack inside, holding my breath and trusting my instincts that he was the good person he appeared to be. As we drove back down the gravel road to the small roadside store where he would meet his friends, I offered him apple slices from our morning snack, his first fresh fruit in weeks, and learned he was a college student from our own city, hundreds of miles away.
Today I saw a starving puppy sniffing around a busy corner in the rain as my kids and I pulled out of our neighborhood to run some errands. Instead of shaking my head and driving on, as I think I would have done in the past, I stopped the car. I hesitated. Dogs can be scary. But this one was so very thin, and I could see a tag hanging from his collar. No problem. Check his tag, call the owner, take him to our house until he could be picked up. But the tag was blank. Now what? As I squatted on the corner in the rain, wondering what to do, the dog crawled into my lap. So I picked him up, put in the car, and took him home. Because it was The Right Thing to Do, and my children are watching everything I do. They are learning, and so am I.
Saturday, October 8, 2011
After the birds are weighed and measured, they are fitted with a band around one leg. Another bird-bander demonstrates fitting the band on the bird. You can see the band between her thumb and first finger of her right hand. They assured us the bands are lightweight aluminum and don't affect the birds in any negative fashion.
No blue in this, just my favorite bird shot of the morning.
After the bird-banding demonstration, we made our way up to D. C. where we headed to the National Natural History Museum. My last visit to this museum was over 20 years ago, and I can't say that much has changed there in the intervening years.
This movie playing on a globe was one of my son's favorite exhibits. The quiet, dark room provided welcome respite from the incredible crowds.
Another favorite-- a giant crystal ball! As you can see, this exhibit, adjacent to the Hope Diamond, was extremely crowded. We were anxious to be on our way after three hours exploring the museum, so we didn't spend much time exploring this fascinating room.