June 20, 2006

What we did on our first day of summer vacation

from formal homeschooling. Yesterday was a gorgeous June day, complete with deep blue sky and big, fluffy clouds, so we

-- picnicked by the dugout [Western Canadian term for a manmade pond) to watch the mallard pair, the coot family with its redheaded babies, a Sora rail, and assorted sandpipers

-- (this is an "I" and not a "we" item) backed the truck up over the (only belatedly realized too muddy) ditch to help our aging, arthritic dog hop in, only to get the truck stuck in the mud, good and "we need the tractor and a tow rope" stuck

-- walked home through the pasture, finding the first yarrow, and one leftover buffalo bean from last month

-- made a survey of all the wild roses that have just started blooming; the wild rose is the provincial flower, and while most are a rosy pink, some are white and some are a very dark pink, almost fuschia, with bright yellow centers

-- startled a deer out of her daytime nest, which startled all of us. The kids were surprised to see how big her patch of matted grass was.

-- were delighted to see the cavalry (aka Tom) riding to the rescue, on his way home briefly to pick up more tools for work; My truck was quickly pulled from the brink, and the boys rode off with Tom, while Laura galloped about bareback while I fed the chickens and the bull, and pulled some rhubarb stalks for another crisp.

Our timing yesterday was perfect. This morning I awoke to rain, goldfinches in the spruce tree, and a daughter with an eye infection and a general malaise, so it's time for a quiet day at home, with some new library books: Birds: Nature's Magnificent Flying Machines by Caroline Arnold, very carefully illustrated by Patricia J. Wynne; Year of the Barn Owl inspired by the lyrical but realistic illustrations of Terry Riley and written by John Andrews (this is a beautiful book, English and out of print but worth tracking down at the library, though not worth the nearly $80 asked by a nutty Amazon used bookseller); the new An Egg Is Quiet by Dianna Aston and illustrated magically by Sylvia Long.

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