Spring is here

Spring is finally here in Southern New Hampshire, at least I hope so. So it’s off to the rail trail for a ride on the tricycle!

The Nashua rail trail is an old rail way that has been converted to a paved path for walking, running, or biking. The railway linked Worcester, Massachusetts to Portland, Maine, and there are still some of the old granite mile markers along the route.

108 miles to Portland.

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39 miles to Worcestershire.

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Keep going, it’s just 39 miles to Worcester, Mr. C!

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The Squirrel Game

 

Mr. C and I were at a local playground when he noticed the tremendous amount of acorns beneath a vary large oak tree.  They seemed to carpet the ground.  He decided to pretend to be a squirrel and hide some acorns around the playground.  Placing some under swings, next to the slide, under the benches, at the top of the slide.  ‘Winter is coming!” he said,  “I have to get ready for the long winter!”

When it was time for us to go, he still wanted to play his new squirrel game.  So he decided to stuff as many acorns as possible in my pockets.  Seemed like a fun idea at the time.

I thought he might want to do something similar at home.  Maybe hide them around the backyard, bury them in the garden, or maybe use them to fill up his toy dump truck and move them around with his toy bulldozer.  I was wearing my work shorts at the time.  Heavy canvas shorts that I usually wear when doing some kind of project around the house.   These are shorts that have a seemingly infinite number of pockets for all kinds of tools,  separate pockets for a hammer, two large pockets on either leg that are large enough for a tape measure.  There are pockets everywhere.  When I agreed to the idea, I think I forgot how many pockets I had or to consider the possibility that he would want to fill up every pocket with as many acorns as he could.

Still it seemed like a fun idea, even as he was filling up every single pocket with as many acorns as he could find.   We drove home, with nuts spilling out of my pockets onto the car floor on the way.  Once we arrived back home,  I emptied out my pockets into a large bucket on our back porch.   It was around lunch time, so that was the end of the acorns for awhile.  I thought he might continue with his new acorn game after lunch, but he forgot about them for a few hours.

On a side note, I had to do an internet search to try to find out why there were so many acorns from this tree.  Apparently every ten years or so, some trees will produce a huge amount of nuts.  No one can really explain why.

A few hours later, while I was occupied with the chopping and mixing and usual what not of dinner.  Mr. C managed to bring the full bucket of acorns into the house.   He then hid them in various places all around the house.  ‘It’s the squirrel game, Dada!’   At the time, I decided to continue to make dinner rather than to try to gather up those acorns.  What could happen, I thought.

 

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He started by putting them in shoes.  He likes the idea that if we try to put on our shoes we will find them filled with acorns.  It’s so hilarious that he will direct us to put on shoes that he has filled with acorns and then he will laugh himself silly once we can’t put on the shoes.

They’re in my shoes.  In Ms. J’s shoes.   He expanded beyond the shoes fairly quickly.  They’re also under the beds.  Under the sofa.   On bookcases.  There’s an empty mouthwash bottle in the tub that he likes to play with when he takes a bath,  it has a dozen acorns in it now.    I found a few in the refrigerator.

They’re everywhere.

I used to think that the worst thing to step on with bare feet was a Lego.   It’s not, an acorn is worse.

‘Have to get ready for Winter, Dada!’

‘Not in the cat box, please!’

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Curves

It’s been raining here in New Hampshire off and on for the past two weeks now.  Mr. C was going stir crazy with staying in the house so much. So what do I do when we finally get some sunny skies ?  I take him to the playground.

Seems as though one of the differences between Stay at Home Dads and Stay at Home Moms might be the ability to do some advanced planning.  Once we arrived at the playground I wondered why there was only one other car there, usually the parking lot has ten or so cars in it no matter what time of day it is.

Then when we get into the enclosed playground area I realize why there is only one other car there.  The playground is surrounded by at least 4 inches of water.  It looked like the other car belonged to another Dad, as he was on his way out with a very wet toddler in tow.

Taking Mr. C to a playground means there is no way we’re leaving without playing at least for a few minutes, no matter what the conditions are.  So I reluctantly tried to steer him towards the one swing that appeared to have dry wood chip below it, but that didn’t last long.

‘Let’s play boat, Dada!’

He was soon going down the slides, ending up in the water logged wood chips, up to his ankles in water.  Eventually he went down this spiral curvy thing, below.  He’s grabbing a handful of the watery wood chips.  Which I think ended up down the back of my shirt.

Here he is Captain of the S.S. Playground.

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Go Fly A Kite

Would you believe that I have made it this far in life and I’ve never flown a kite ?  Yes, embarrassing but true.  I grew up in an urban area of Boston, so I guess there just wasn’t easy access to kite flying fields.   I do remember my older brother planning a trip to a park to fly a kite, but for some reason it never happened.  Maybe it rained, I don’t remember.

So flying a kite earlier this week was a new experience for both Mr. C and myself.   It seemed to be a windy enough day, the sun was shining, so off we went with a small kite that he received as a Christmas gift, as well as a long roll of string.

My only other experience in this has been reading about Charlie Brown’s hapless adventures in kite flying, so I did not expect much.  Conditions seemed to be perfect since it turned out that it’s surprisingly easy to fly a kite.  After it took a few headers directly into the ground, and a lot of running around, off it went.

And run, run, run, run, we did.  One of the many things I’m supposed to do is to make sure Mr. C gets some exercise during the day.  Both to try to make sure he stays active, and also to try to make sure he’s tired enough to fall asleep at a reasonable hour.

All the running required to get that kite flying ended up tiring me out more than him and I ended up going to bed before he did.   I am an old man.

Turns out that it’s just about impossible to get a 3 year old and a kite to appear in the same photo.  As hard as I tried, either the kite or Mr. C ran or flew  out of the frame.  So I am left only with this shot below.

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An Appreciation

One unexpected thing I’ve found with blogging is how much you can learn about places around the world that you may not have thought too much about.  Being an East Coast person, I have often been guilty of ignoring the vast majority of the country beyond the coast.    S0 when I came across  The (Urban-Wildlife) Interface blog,  based in Ferndale, Arkansas.

The focus of the blog is the animal and plant life of the area.   I have to admit that I was surprised by the variety of wildlife in the area, as well as the quality of the photography presented by the blogger.   I’ve been following the blog for about a year now, occasionally leaving a comment, most of which I’m sure are along the lines of “Wow, how did you get that photo?”

Last week this blogger passed on the WordPress Family award to me, (to me at the old blog),  which considering the quality of the comments I’ve left kind of surprised me.  Part of the award is to pass the nomination on to 11 other bloggers.  Since I’ve done a few of these awards recently, I’m sorry to say that I’m out of people to nominate.  Guess I should follow more blogs!

But what I will do is to say that I’ve learned a lot about the Southeast from reading this blog, especially about the scope and variety of plant and animal life there.  I’ve also been inspired to try my hand at photographing wildlife as well.  So if you have an interest in photography or even the slightest interest in Natural History, check out this blog!

As an example, here’s a hawk that my son and I saw recently.   Not at all up to the standard of Ferndale, Arkansas,  but I did my best with what I had at the time,  an Iphone.

We were on our way into our local library, when Mr. C heard the sound of the hawk whooshing into the trees above us.  As the local squirrels went completely insane, I carefully considered the options available to me on the Iphone, (basically none), and took the photo.  OK, this is one of about 20 photos I took, 19 were either of a big blur, or were of the tangle of vines and branches, leaving me with one OK shot.  Oh, well, I’ll keep trying.

At least Mr. C had a good story to tell at pre-school the next day.  And a photo emailed to his teacher too to help tell the story.

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