Monday, August 16, 2010

last Monday I had twins

visiting for the day. 6 1/2 years old, boy and girl.
So it has not all been drudgery the past two weeks, no. Things that we did:
  • picked blackberries
  • pried broken bricks out of the front garden
  • built inukshuks with the broken bricks, also a house for a mouse
  • picked blueberries (all 3 of them!)
  • gathered poppyseed (I didn't know how to do this)
  • found things in Tess's things-to-find-in-Fairyland book
  • ran through sheets on the clothesline
  • ate apples from the tree
  • watched the deer eat apples from the tree
  • played with the cat from next door
  • combed our cat
  • dug holes for new plants
  • dug the top half of an action figure out from the back garden
  • swung in the hanging chair
  • built a brick wall across the front walk
  • ate sandwiches
We had planned to walk or drive to Willows Beach, but it came on to rain just after lunch, so I mixed up some bubble stuff and we blew bubbles on the porch, then on the walk, then on the bricks, then inside, on the awful linoleum that needs washing anyways.
It was fun, as well as a reminder of just how much attention child-minding requires. If only child-raising could be done in one-day-a-week instalments, I'm sure we'd all do a better job.

The encroachment of wildlife continues. Besides the deer, which pops by most days to see if the broccoli or tomatoes have any new shoots, there's a raccoon somewhere about, but fortunately not under the house. Yesterday morning I watched a grey squirrel chase a black squirrel up and down one of the power-poles, with a surprising clattery noise that must have been their claws. The downed cherry tree across the street, overwhelmed by ivy, is a prime spot for a flock of small birds that like to swoop up and down from street to ivy and back, on the basis of stimuli I can't determine.
As I was digging compost out of the bin for the blueberry and roses that I planted, I noticed two heaps of compost earth outside the bin. Odd, I thought, I wonder if next-door's dog has been in here, digging? Suddenly a ginger-fawn furry shape bolted out of the heap on the other side of the treetrunk, zipped around the outside of the bin, and was gone. Rat? Rabbit? I couldn't tell.
On Sunday, I went to pick up windfall apples from that same tree, and as I stood looking for the pale yellow shapes, I saw from the corner of my eye, something on the compost bin wall, about 7 feet from me. A hawk, 5-6 inches in body, tail another 3, pale brown flecked with dark brown over body and head, tail black and grey bars. At first it ignored me, there being a thin screen of apple-leaves between us, then it stared at me from those alien yellow eyes (is it the eye or the unreadable face around it?) for several seconds while I tried to memorise it. Then it flapped up into the oak tree next door.
I went inside and found the bird book, and my best guess is either a fairly large female sharp-shinned hawk, or a smallish Cooper's hawk. At any rate, it can roost on my compost bin any time it likes.

Celebration! There are no more than 8 Transparent apples left on the tree, not enough for a dehydrator load. Made it through with absolute minimal waste!


Terri-Lynne said...

You scared me! Hahahaa! Twins. Bad, Barbra.

Sounds like you had some fun. I wish I could have played too. That's just the sort of stuff I'd have loved to do as a kid. So magical. I'd still love to!

batgirl said...

They are terrific kids. I'm going to borrow them again sometime so I have an excuse for doing all those things I'm too mature to do myself.