On a Learning Curve

Life may not be easy, but it's always an adventure.

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Spring has finally arrived in my corner of the world. Sure, the daffodils bloomed last month and the temperature has been slowly creeping up the thermometer. April was full of showers–mostly on Tuesdays just in time to cancel soccer practice. And we’ve seen several sets of birds pairing off and building nests. But spring didn’t fully unpack her bags until yesterday.

Instead what convinced me is the fine layer of yellow that miraculously appeared just yesterday. Tree pollen is everywhere, tinting my world in shades of yellow. It’s trying to enter my house since it’s already conquered the front porch, back deck, roof, sidewalk, and driveway. As I sit here typing, I’m watching visible grains falling from our collection of trees; it’s spring’s equivalent of snow.


The Crayola chalk is for size reference.

We also met this little guy yesterday. Or he may have been a she; if so, she’s not very pretty. Though a friend helpfully tried to identify this caterpillar as a misplaced mustache or eyebrow, it turned out to be a wooly bear. Once the girls and I rounded up appropriate food and cage for him/her, s/he had wandered off. At some point this wooly bear will become a not-so-wooly tiger moth. If you decide to raise your very own wooly bear, here’s a helpful fact sheet that I found. Additionally, I counted 31 swallowtail caterpillars on my 5-mile run yesterday. (Since I resorted to counting caterpillars, you can bet that my legs are still feeling last week’s half marathon.)


Yes, that is a pink zebra wrap.

Today H adopted a swallowtail larva that she’s named Fred. She found him on the back steps of the Leonardtown Art Center; she didn’t want anyone to step on him, and now he’s gorging himself on my parsley. Pictured above is Rumpetta. We met her last Friday in the grass outside the same art center. Rumpetta is a sweet pygmy goat with an injured leg and has been keeping her owner company at work for the past week or so. I wanted to take Rumpetta home with me; instead we have Fred.


This guy continues to visit our yard from time to time. I did some research after his first appearance, and he is technically a grey squirrel. Though he is mostly white, he is an albino since his eyes are black. Apparently Brevard, NC, is the self-proclaimed white squirrel capital and has its own White Squirrel Research Center.  Who knew?! If you’re in the area later this month, don’t forget to check out the White Squirrel Festival.

???????????????????????????????I also suspect that two blue jays have set up a nest somewhere in our trees. As noisy as these blue things are, their nest is hidden enough that we haven’t spotted it yet. Another family of tufted titmice has set up shop in our nesting box. Because I’ve told the girls not to open the box, I have to obey my rule, too. Instead I like to sneak up and listen for baby bird noises. Nothing so far.

DSCN0943Speaking of noise, this is just part of the parade that rolled up and down our street yesterday. That’s H steering Sofie with J, Pilot, and their father Ed. Sofie was a very good sport since H is not an experienced driver. Pilot, on the other hand, played a game of dodging small feet, fast wheels, and moving wheels. My heart swelled as I watched H include her friend in their old, familiar games.


The smiles say it all!

As I wrap up this post, we’re preparing for H’s 7th birthday tomorrow. While S and G both decided they were no longer my babies at this age and were way too mature to hold my hand in public, I think H is several years away from this stage. She’s definitely still the baby of this family. So lift a juice box, swallow your Allegra or Zyrtec, and join me in wishing a happy birthday to H!

It’s no April Fool’s joke…

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It's no April Fool's joke...

A white squirrel visited us yesterday. It’s only the second time I’ve ever seen one and the first silvery squirrel to visit our yard. Maybe these frosty rodents are common in other parts, but I was mesmerized for few minutes. Coincidentally I found a white eyebrow hair this morning. I just wish the latter were an April Fool’s joke.