May 31, 2014

Freewheeling frenzy!

Liam is now riding solo, and Reid has graduated to pedaling! He is feeling very grown up and announces this fact to everyone we meet in town. He is also deeply offended whenever I suggest we travel in the car. We are hanging on to the buggy for all of our loot.
Fiddleheads!
Frog hunting with daddy.


May 26, 2014

Baseball fever





I never thought I'd care, but go Sox!

Oh, and here's a shot from Sunday morning with the young Quaker Friends, right before nearly all of them took the plunge.

First Summer Trip to Acadia

May 19, 2014

Who's 37 now?

We celebrated Tim's birthday this weekend.
This is what 37 candles look like on a birthday cake.
Earlier in the week, Liam and Reid gave Daddy a lot of nice presents. They really got into the gift giving spirit. Among the gifts were Reid's stuffed dog, Mpenzi:
And a wrapped library book, Rapunzel's Revenge:
We love our Daddy!

May 15, 2014

Springtime fun

Mr. Reid has had the week off from preschool, and he is loving the freedom and springtime weather.

May 12, 2014

Amphibious fortune!

We've had tons of good amphibious fortune this week. It all started when our homeschooled friend Erin took Reid and me frog egg hunting (poor Liam and Tim had school that day).
We hit the jackpot with three different varieties, and brought home eggs to transplant into the pools behind our house in the woods.
Here's Reid staking out the right spot for the transplant:
And some of the eggs:
Then this weekend, we went on a guided hike with a couple of herpetologists. We learned that in vernal pools in this area we would find three different species.

Wood frogs:
Yellow spotted salamanders:
And blue spotted salamanders, some of which are unisex, like this one:
We know that we have some salamander eggs in the backyard, as well as some wood frog eggs. We also guess that our backyard pools will dry up a little bit too soon for them to survive, but that is part of the learning process. As one of the scientists we met with graciously pointed out, these guys lay hundreds of eggs and on average they have two that survive, so we can't have messed things up too badly by moving a few eggs.
What fun!

May 9, 2014

Liam's piano teacher is the 2014 UMaine Valedictorian!

We recently learned that Liam's wonderful piano teacher, Sierra Ventura, also happens to be UMaine's valedictorian this year!  The Bangor Daily News recently published a story about her, too, and she selected Liam to be the kid she was practicing with for the story.

The BDN also provided an embeddable video!

May 8, 2014

The Fabulous Frog Town Mountain Puppeteers!

Last Saturday Liam, Reid and I had the opportunity to attend one of the wonderful productions of the Frog Town Mountain Puppeteers.  Their shows are always truly awesome.  Very well produced, assembled, designed, blocked, acted, and professionally delivered.  This time we got to hang around for some behind-the-scenes time, and got to meet the puppeteers (Eric, Brian, Robin - We are such regulars that they are beginning to recognize our faces!)  The show we watched was the Banana Kid, a fruity-flavored western, and utterly enjoyable.


Picture by Kevin Kratka.

May 3, 2014

Florida Keys with Sal and O'da!


We had a great visit with Sal and O'da in the Florida Keys. There was lots of adventuring--kayaking, snorkeling at Sombrero Reef and Looe Key, hiking through the water with a ranger at Long Key, visiting the Dolphin Research Center and the Turtle Hospital, and of course lots of time outside and swimming every day. 

Some of the many creatures we saw:


We also saw a cow fish (which looked like a green mouse), a nurse shark, cormorants, pelicans, willets (long legged shore birds), crabs, needlefish, sting rays, mangroves, hermit crabs, golden orb spiders, anole lizards, a manatee (no photo), goliath groupers, a 6 foot long sting ray down at 20ft, brain coral, elkhorn coral, purple fan coral, Christmas tree worms, and so many kinds of fish that we couldn't remember them from one second to the next, let alone for long enough to get back to the boat and look at the ID guide.

We also spotted the usual creatures: Liam and Reid.





Exploring the waters of Long Key:
 Coconut cracking:
 

 Snorkeling--Liam snorkeled at Sombrero Reef, eventually humming and singing through his snorkel as we explored. Reid explored on a transparent raft with Daddy.

 Kayaking in our canals and into the Atlantic and the Bay.
 Mostly it was great to see our West Coast grandparents and to enjoy some time with our Daddy away from work: