Friday, June 23, 2017

Sea Urchins, Sand, Sunscreen, Shells and Siestas June 2017

June 2017
*3 families, 9 people and ample room to find a niche for solitude*


Destination HOLDEN BEACH, NC.

*Laid-back, easy going, unhurried, and uncluttered*
(I was so lazy, I didn't get my big-girl camera out of the bag, except for a few photos.)
Most of the sea urchins were found the first day on the beach.

The other urchins were unable to be here, but were frequently and fondly remembered:

Sand, Sunscreen, Shells and Silliness filled the days.

We dug holes to the center of the earth.

Did I mention siestas?????
While you were sleeping.........

What a congenial group!
We read, and then read some more!
We ate.

We cooked.

We laughed...........a lot.

We played games

We watched movies.


Until next time....
I guess we will go home the way we came!

Friday, June 16, 2017

How To Keep Up With A 2 Year Old.

How to keep up with a 2 yr old:

I didn't say 'how to keep a two year old busy'.
I didn't state 'how to keep a two year old happy'.
Nor did I address 'how to keep a two year old entertained'.
Pure and simple----->  How to keep 'UP' with a 2 year old.
And I'm referring to a human, not a dog, or cat.
Oh, I don't have the answers.
Go with the flow.
Rest when you can,
Eat when you have the opportunity.
Forget about doing anything else.
Wear tennis shoes.
Drink plenty of water.
For 8 hours, did our best.
Key word here: OUR
Child-labor was wonderful, and was used in a constructive way!

Meal-time was a cinch, especially since  he was familiar with WHERE his favorite food was stored!

Wyatt's Mom and Dad requested that he wear a hat while being in the sun.
I'm not real sure this is what they had in mind!

Wyatt was provided with fresh air, sunshine, and exercise....
We scored high on the fitbit numbers!

Smith Park on the Greenway, now has new playground equipment.
Wyatt was very familiar with every bell and whistle, every slip and slide, and EVERY TUNNEL.
Unfortunately, it was new to us, therefore a game of hide-and-seek was a hit (for him).

Yes, cultural activities were included in our PaPa-KK daycare camp.
I'm thinking that PaPa enjoyed this more that Wyatt.
He kept asking about the black keys, and indicated an interest in adding the piano to his retirement list!

Then there was nap time........

Oh by the way, Wyatt has been climbing out of his crib.
I wasn't prepared for that!
Never a dull moment.
Changes are on the way for his next visit.

8 hours of laughter.
8 hours of fitbit.
8 hours of constant motion(with hardly a bathroom break or tea time)
Best of all.........
8 hours of pure joy.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Yes, I feel like a mid-wife.
For 3 days, I've waited, and watched, and waited and watched.
And in my spare time, I've learned about ROBINS!
This site is fabulous----> AMERICAN ROBIN .
I read, and took photos.....LOTS of photos!
(and I deleted unfocused photos. MANY!)
Things that I never knew.......
Things that I took for granted.......
Things that I learned about my camera (HA)......
This learning extravaganza started last week, while I was hanging stringed lights on our backyard patio.
Climbing the ladder, I noticed the nest.
I gasped.
Where was the mother?
Are the eggs OK?
How long have they been here?
When will they hatch?
I had my cell phone attached to me, so I grabbed a quick photo.
*Note the color*
"Robin-egg blue"
'The eggshell color comes from pigments in the mother's blood. Hemoglobin from ruptured blood cells is transformed into "bile pigments," which are carried by the robin's blood to where the eggshell forms.'

A purple-plum tree planted outside a bedroom window, provided a safe haven for the Robin to build her nest. This process took 2-6 days. The nest is made of over 350 dried fibers of grass and small twigs.
Setting up the camera, and tripod, taking out the screen, focusing on the nest were the easy steps.
WAITING was the difficult part for me!
Momma was getting her eggs ready to hatch!

It wouldn't be long now!
The first baby hatches 12-14 days after the last egg is laid (this is called the incubation).
Eggs usually hatch a day apart, in the order they were laid.
Hatching can take all day!!!!!(No wonder I was tired)

Immediately after the chick is born, the momma bird  regurgitates partly digested food into the baby's mouth. Not until about day 5 do the nestlings get earthworms. Both parents feed the babies, making 100 feeding visits to its nest each day.

WOW. That's all I can say! I was at the right place at the right time to see this little miracle, through my camera. (It helped to have my camera set to 'high-speed-continuous-shoot' and a handheld 'external remote'.)
Both parents have full-time jobs. They protect the nest, find food, and feed hungry babies, that are in the nest for at least 9 days. And yes, they plop right down on the nest, keeping the newborn warm and continuing the incubation process for the eggs that have not hatched!

DAY 2 was the same as DAY 1, except the nest has become a bit more crowded.

I cannot tell from my standing point (inside the house) if there is still a third egg ready to be hatched.
Mom and Dad Robin were busy, flying back and forth feeding, incubating, protecting. The nest is not used as a bed at night for the parents. They usually perch on a limb close by. Today's research included trying to tell a Male Robin from a Female Robin. Here is a link that may clarify some confusion-----> How to Tell a Male Robin from a Female Robin . I recommend this link!

DAY 5 (June 4, 2017)
One of the baby robins had grown and is now eating worms. There is at least one more baby in the nest, not quite ready to show his/her face.

DAY 9 (June 8, 2017)
Today I observe one baby bird.