Saturday, May 19, 2012

Garden sprites and spiders.

We have a few bluebird boxes around the yard, and I was happy to see this little cutie (on the post) perched near one! Two of the boxes have nests in them! The third one just has a wasp nest, yuck. I think we need to move it to a more open area of the yard. When we eventually live out on our "farm", I'm going make or buy loads of bluebird boxes and place them all over the property. I could map out where all of them are placed and monitor them in the spring.

I cleaned out a flower bed the other day, and had two little garden sprites eager to help.

They picked up most all of the old pine straw and leaves I raked out of the bed.

I didn't complain.

She hardly ever wears shoes anymore.

We took a break for a bit of butterfly observation (and chasing).

And then Elliot almost accidentally petted this not so little guy. He was reaching for the last bit of pine straw when I saw this huge wolf spider hanging out in it.

I herded him along with a blade of grass, and the kids were both amazed and a bit terrified of it! We looked wolf spiders up on Wikipedia later and learned that they have 8 eyes - 4 small ones on bottom, 2 huge ones on the middle row, and two more medium sized eyes on top of their head. Sylvie thinks he has a mustache and that he's a daddy spider. I think he's kind of adorable. Do a super zoom on him and just look at that face, lol!

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After dumping the old pine straw and double checking the wheelbarrow for spiders, the kids went for a little ride.

Even though the gnats are so HORRIBLE that it feels like I'm walking in a swarm of them and my legs are covered in mosquito bites, I'm really enjoying all the time we've been spending outside. It's so much easier with the kids being old enough to wander around the yard without me tagging along right behind them. The thing I'm happiest about though is that they're finding things to do outside now on their own, not wandering around bored and dependent on me to create an activity. Our feet are perpetually nasty. I'm thinking of setting up a foot wash station outside next to the door with a bucket of water, scrubby brush, soap, and an old towel. Our floors are never clean anyway, but they've reached a whole new level of dirty.

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