Saturday, October 24, 2009

watching the workers and the digger

328/365 october 20, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

4 hour game of sorry

4 hour game of sorry, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.
While we were watching and waiting for the diggers/plumbers to do their work .. we played a very long game of "sorry" with grandma and grampa. We had high drama when the digger went through the power lines and the phone lines; despite the fact that they were supposedly marked. Then the kids learned some new vocabulary words when the electric company, plumbers and contractors discussed whose fault this drama was. L managed to see the bright side (of course, we were not the ones with no water, no power and no phone) that "It is not everyday that we get to see the wires under the ground." The kids were very impressed by the shear number of wires inside of a cable. Pretty neat.

walking in the woods

fall at the arboretum, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

fall at the arboretum

fall at the arboretum, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

Day with friends at the arboretum. They had all sorts of games going on (hiding jackets, playing house in a weeping pine, fighting over who would hold hands with N, putting people in "jail", rolling down the huge hill, etc) I was excited because I had nice catch-up chats with my mom friends and because I spotted a bunch of yellow-rumped warblers .. they are so cute!

fairy houses

Today (October 17th) we went to the Florence Griswold Museum to hear Tracy Kane read her book "Fairy Houses" (We have loved her books for years!) and then we got to make fairy houses. We had such a fun day as a family. Here is the picture they took.

building our fairy house

building our fairy house, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

October 15

e is on a drawing kick and has been working on these elaborate pictures for days!

October 14

kids running, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

Kids running at Fort Trumbull. On our way to L's science class at the library. e and I had so much fun with some alone time reading and doing puzzles. (Man, he is a puzzle wiz!)


322/365 october 14, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.


kids, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

Kids at the hb meeting .. after our membership meeting. What troopers the kids were .. this made for a loooong day. I just want to say that L does not get her "fashion sense" from me .. but umm, wow. :)

L trying to tame chickadees

L trying to tame chickadees, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

L has decided that our chickadees need to learn to eat out of our hands too. :) She was out there for a good long time trying.

October 12

Our butterfly "curious" emerged from it's chrysalis this morning!

family picture

family picture, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

Our annual trip to the cemetery and then to Gray's Beach. (We've also added eating at Grumpy's to this annual tradition.) Not a great time of day for a picture but a tradition is a tradition! We saw what I think were Lesser Yellowlegs here .. and watched people crabbing. Time to head towards home. It is always so hard to tear ourselves away. There is something so magical about the cape in October.

exploring the tidal pools

exploring the tidal pools, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.
We decided to head towards home and stop at a beach in east dennis.The tide was so far out and was starting to come in .. so we stuck to exploring the tidal pools. We found lots of hermit crabs and snails. There were lots of dead horseshoe crabs. We were not alone in our hunting. We saw semi-palmated plovers, a black-bellied plover, lots of gulls and some brants further out. Earlier in the day we saw a red-tail hawk and a belted kingfisher. Beautiful day!

tree swallows

319/365 october 11, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

Amazing! We watched these tree swallows move over the dunes and go right over our heads. I was in awe. We also watched a merlin and a sharp-shinned hawk prey on tree swallows.
L found owl scat in the dunes and since we would have been there all day otherwise; we relented and let her carry it to the car. (She spent at least an hour of our drive dissecting it and showing us the bones.)


dunes, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.
We went for a walk in the dunes .. ran into some people and discovered where there is a natural cranberry bog. We will be locating that next year. The kids were too tired to walk further. It was so absolutely gorgeous here. I can't believe we have been coming to Ptown/Truro for 12 years and have never taken this walk before!


dunes, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.


sunset, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

This is the sunset from outside the door of our hotel. We are definitely going back next year!

sunset watchers

sunset watchers, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

a chickadee

ah .. perfect! a chikadee, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

We wandered on the beach in front of our hotel in North Truro where L learned to skip rocks! She was great at it. e was frustrated that he could not do it too. Ahhhh. We wandered around P-town and ate the yummy pizza at Spiritus; where the kids also like to pretend they know how to play bocce. (The kids at the next table whom we became "friends" with .. love how my kids make friends in 2 minutes.. liked j's new "monkey shoes.") We also went to feed the chickadees again .. this year we also fed tufted titmice and L even got a white-breasted nuthatch to eat out of her hand! L has a gift with the birds and bugs. Part patience, part stubborness (where did she get that?!) and part something else. I was too busy here trying to feed the birds that I neglected my camera. e gave up after having some birds come to us together but not him alone .. and he instead fed the lucky chipmunk and squirrel under the walkway. :) One chipmunk had it's cheeks so full that it looked utterly ridiculous. J made us a yummy dinner in our hotel kitchen while the kids and I tried not to blow off the bluff during the sunset.

neat mushrooms

neat mushrooms, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

snails everywhere in the dunes

snails, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

So we were off to Cape Cod for our vacation at last (as soon as I was well enough.) We made a spontaneous decision to just get in the car and go. However we decided to skip the camping this year and j found us a hotel. Well we got up in the morning and surprise (!) we were staying in the MOST gorgeous location right on the bluff overlooking Provincetown and the bay. The kids were out the door first thing and found snails all over the place! Later we tried to pack everything into 2 days (and we came pretty close too.)

very comfortable in the woods

316/365 october 8, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

found a nest

found a nest, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

and put in an acorn

deep in the woods

deep in the woods, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

garter snake

garter snake, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

j is an expert snake catcher. We all had a chance to touch and the kids were fascinated.

american toad (?)

american toad (?), originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

vacation week

The kids went on hiking adventures with j over the first few days of our family vacation. I was not feeling well .. and was sad to miss some of the hiking fun. Here are some pics from j's phone. One day they hiked in the Oswegatchie Hills and another day they hiked a huge distance on the side of a cliff (maybe better that I wasn't with them .. yikes!) in Guilford, I think. They all had a blast and I was home feeling a little sorry for myself.

huge acorn

314/365 october 6, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

October 4 kids

While we were heading home the kids were out and about again!

October 4 .. rainbow

double rainbow, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

swans in the fog

312/365 october 4, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

pied-billed grebe

pied-billed grebe, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.


lighthouse, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

We got up before sunrise to be at the hawk watch at the lighthouse. Unfortunately our visit did not coincide with good migratory weather so there was not much to see while we were in Cape May. But we did get to meet the local birding authority. He was so kind; he lent us an extra pair of his fancy binoculars. We watched a pied-billed grebe (so cute) and 4 caspian terns hunting. Managed to spot a bobolink, lots of bluejays, sharp-shinned hawks, a fish crow, a carolina chickadee, a merlin, killdeers, a forster's tern, an eastern phoebe, etc. We headed back to the inn for breakfast and to pack up. Then we stopped one more time at the nature preserve .. missed seeing a sora by minutes (darn!) .. the fog was rolling in .. so pretty but not so good for birding. We did see a air of savannah sparrows, 3 common moorhens and the biggest great blue heron that I have ever seen. One more quick stop at Sunset Beach and we were on the road for home. We saw a beautiful double rainbow on the drive. So nice to hug the kids hello!

October 3

sunset, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

Happy 10th anniversary to us! Cape May is gorgeous. We walked around almost all day and ate all day. We started early at the nature preserve (saw a snow goose, tons of buterflies, lots of dolphins!), discovered the best coffee shop and a great sushi place, had a picnic at the lighthouse, went for a hike and saw egrets, ducks, sharp-shinned hawks, and a peregrine falcon that flew close over our heads. We took another hike at Higbee Beach, looked for "gems" at Sunset Beach, walked all over downtown looking at all the neat old houses and had a delicious dinner.

moon over the ocean

moon over the ocean, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

Black Skimmers!

black skimmers!, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

These are the coolest birds! I was so very excited to see them. We spent a large portion of the day hiking around in all the nature preserves looking for birds. We saw some good birds too; but it was when we took a walk right in town to the beach that we saw the skimmers. We even got to see them fly and hunt. Amazing! They have these huge long beaks .. and when they hunt, they fly along with their beaks in the water "skimming" and when they feel something, their beak closes.

Clouded Sulphur butterfly

311/365 october 3, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

Great Egret

great egret, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

Cape May Point Lighthouse

lighthouse, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.

poor richard's inn

poor richard's inn, originally uploaded by hobbitsmama.
This is where we stayed in Cape May, NJ .. it was only a few houses down from the beach! The first day was spent mostly driving to NJ. We got checked in and wandered around town .. found a great restaurant with the best spring rolls that I have ever tasted. Then we had to find a good ice cream place. We went out to Cape May Point Lighthouse and watched the sunset and then took a hike in the dusk. We saw an owl! It was a beautiful night for a hike; the moon was bright and we could see the boardwalks. It was warm and there was a nice breeze. We felt so far away from everything. When we went back to town, we decided to wander some more .. and we found an arcade and played skee ball. So fun!

October 2

J and I went away for the weekend to Cape May, NJ to celebrate our anniversary (I will post our pics separately) and the kids are staying with my parents. They were kind enough to share some photos. They went to RI to the Green Animals Topiary Garden, ate delicious fried clams, walked a little of the cliff walk, drove to look at some of the mansions and apparently drove around looking for an open bathroom for an hour. ;) They went to the library, watched movies, read stories, went for a hike at the Nathan Lester house, went to Alice Acres and voted for their favorite pumpkins and had an overall wonderful time with Grandma and Grampa!