Friday, February 8, 2013

{Wildlife Refuge}

Yesterday we went to the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge. It was a good time of year to go, because there were no leaves in the trees, and it's almost spring. We saw many things that we don't usually see in the summer. Our favorite was the many nutria we saw. I think it was five! We also saw several hawks, herons, and probably a hundred or so geese and ducks. There was also an occasional woolly bear.

It was a beautiful sunny day, and you could hear the geese honking and the ducks quacking. I would put my head through our sun roof to take pictures, and the breeze felt wonderful. Towards the end of the trip, we saw a hawk soaring low to the ground, obviously chasing something. I was peeking out the sun roof and trying to take pictures, but we were going so fast it was difficult even to get it on video. Yet it was so amazing and beautiful, I think I'll always have it my mind.

Here are a few of the pictures I took, and something interesting about the animal or bird in the picture.

Here Aidan and Avery are getting the bulletins that tell about the animals in the refuge. Here's a fun fact about them. They were very loud the whole trip and scared away many birds I could have gotten a picture of.

This is a nutria, and this is the best picture I took of them. I have several. I used the zoom on the lens, but it was still close enough to tell that it was eating something.

A fun fact is that nutria originally lived in South America, and were brought to England, Asia, and USA for fur farming. The farming crashed in the 1940s, and many were released into the wild. Avery was so hilarious, because she exclaimed "It looks like a very large rodent!" Which that's funny, because they are.

This is a red-tailed hawk, and I have many pictures of them too. I tried to catch a picture of it in flight, but it was going too fast. A fun fact about red-tailed hawks is they usually live in the same territory their whole life, and that territory usually ranges about ten miles.

This is a great blue heron, and this is by far my favorite picture of them. I did have another picture of a rather fat heron, but it was too far away to get a good picture. Great blue herons usually fish alone, but when it comes to nesting they nest in great colonies.

This picture is just a bunch of tangled branches, but it was so pretty I took a picture, and it wound up in my blog!

These are Canada Geese, I'm sure you know. Their Latin name is Branta canadenis. They are highly vocal, and are known to make more than ten distinctive calls.

This is my very favorite picture of all time. I love it! I'm still telling myself that I was the one to take the picture. This is also a red tailed hawk. I really liked the coloring on it's breast, and how it was so unique.

I hope you enjoyed my little 'tour' of the wildlife refuge! Maybe you should go sometime soon!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Three Cups

One morning my mom wasn't up yet, and my little brother decided to make some waffles for breakfast as a surprise. As some of you have most likely experienced, when little kids decide to make breakfast, almost always something happens.

When I came out of bed, he had already finished the waffle batter and had put plastic wrap over the bowl. I told him he should wait to cook them till mom got out of bed, but that it was a good idea. I went into the living room to read, and mom got out of bed about 15 minutes later. I was still reading when Aidan showed her the waffles. I heard her say, "Oh Aidan! How sweet of you. I'm so glad I don't have to worry about breakfast. Did you make sure you got all the ingredients?"

Aidan and mom went over the recipe to make sure he had put everything in and the right amount. Then, I heard my mom exclaim, "Good heavens! Three cups?!"

I went in to see why my mom had gotten so surprised. When I asked her what had happened she said, "You know how when I write out recipes on sticky notes, they're rather sloppy and hastily written?" I groggily nodded yes (I was still tired). "Well," my mom continued, " I wrote out the recipe, but I didn't have enough room to write out the whole recipe. I usually put in 1/4 of a cup of sugar, but since I didn't have room to write that out, I put a semicolon next to the three cups of flour and wrote sugar. Since Aidan didn't know that, he put three cups of sugar in the waffles!"

Mom looked at Aidan and said, "Did we even have three cups of sugar?"

"Not anymore!" he giggled.

So that morning we had waffles with three cups of sugar, and they were so sweet we didn't even need syrup.

The moral of the story is, if your mother writes her recipes on sticky notes that are sloppy and hastily written with semicolons, you should probably make sure she doesn't mean three cups of sugar.