Sunday, April 27, 2014

Steam Powered Aereo Plane

I grew up listening to Warren Zevon, Ten Years After, Neil Young, and The Eagles. I always enjoyed singing.  However, these days I find myself singing Veggie Tales songs and humming to cartoons.

The boys had a wonderful Easter.  The weather has been nice.  We were able to walk in the woods today and take some photographs.  Little Brother enjoyed the wildflowers and he began to count the May apples.  New birds are starting to arrive at Moraine.

Big Brother has his first game of the season this week.  He has been working hard at pitching.


Friday, April 18, 2014


Four years ago this week I asked my wife to marry me.  She is an amazing woman.  She is smart, artistic and hard working.  Thank you Sweetheart!

The boys are growing so fast.  Big brother has started baseball practice and he hopes to pitch and play catcher.  He admitted after practice that he is no longer scared of being hit by the baseball.  Little Brother now compares himself to Spider-man and Batman.  He can even sing their theme songs. When we were at the playground, Little Brother climbed the ladder without assistance and proclaimed that he was Spider-man.  The family recently joined the YMCA.  Big brother enjoys basketball and Little Brother loves to swim and splash in the pool.

Moraine is now very active after the long hard winter.  We have been seeing 4 turkeys hanging around the old fields.  The spring peepers and chorus frogs are very vocal at night.  I took a hike today and found a variety of spring wildflowers emerging from the ground.  A few were even in flower.  Wood ducks are in all the ponds and turtles are starting to bask on logs during warm days.  Beaver have a large dam on the big pond.  I am still waiting for the warblers.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Little Talks

It's time again to get our heads together.  Our winter hibernation must end, and we have to bring ourselves back to reality. This winter has been one that would make anyone cry.  Sub zero, inches upon inches upon feet of snow, frozen layers of ice on top of frozen sheets of snow, power outages, tree branches, months and months.

It's over now. We're safe. We're warm. It's over now.

Indiana Dunes. Dead of Winter.

The boys are ready for sunshine and baseball. D! and I are ready for nature hikes and blooming colors. I will not miss this winter. There were many snow days where all of our responsibilities were put on hold and, for the sake of safety, we stayed home and watched the snow drift. Our living room gets warm in the afternoon sunshine and the reflection off the snow into our windows kept us warm. We were together and everything was still and we waited for winter to pass.

little brother is working hard on potty training. Being two is tricky. A delicate balance between impulse and restraint, elation and heartbreak, starvation and exhaustion.  His personality is growing and his likes and dislikes are more evident now than ever. He doesn't care to sit and indulge in a meal. He would much rather have snack after snack, sharing with the dog, and playing with his trains. Or his rocks. Or a tub that I filled with dried rice and construction toys (long winter, desperate measures). He doesn't like when strangers talk to him. He doesn't like when his hands are dirty. He does like stickers and flowers. He doesn't like loud noises or talking toys. He does like his elephant blanket, especially after it's been washed. Tricky tricky.

Sadie Moraine

Big brother has only had one baseball practice so far. Several have been cancelled because the weather has just been unpredictable and uncooperative, but once we get going he will be in the majors this year. It's his first year in majors and there are a few changes in rules and distances between bases.  He is very excited about lead-offs and the extra 4 feet he has to pitch the ball across the plate now.  He made the honor roll on his last report card. He's still a slob. He likes to eat. He is artistic, creative, and one of the funniest people I know. I adore this boy and who he is becoming. 11 has proven to be more demanding than I thought it would be.  A lot of explaining things I don't want him to wonder about. A lot of mediating how to deal with other 11 year old kids and how to approach problems I'm not ready for him to have to deal with.  His heart is golden.

The seeds are ready to be planted. The garden is ready to till. We are waiting for consistent weather and a day we can devote to officially beginning our spring. The crocuses are coming up, but are struggling under the cold weather and early morning frost. Same for the daffodils. The birds are still visiting the feeders. Today I saw a brilliant blue bird heading toward our blue bird house. The first sound I hear when I open my eyes is the Phoebe. Our turkeys are active and busy. Yesterday, early in the morning, I saw these two Towhees. 

Eastern Towhee
Red Breasted Nuthatch

We had a lot of exciting sightings throughout the winter. My favorite was a bald eagle near the marina in Portage, IN. It was one of the happiest days for me. I will never forget how grand his wingspan was, how silent, strong, and stoic he was sitting in the branches, barely visible. This is why we love birding. The search, the find, the glory and the beauty.

So, here is to winter and it's final passing. To everything feeling new again. To green and lush, leaves and shoots and stems.  Here is to field mice and tiny warblers and Jesus rising. Here is to spring! The glorious time where things thaw and remind us of beauty and possibilities.

At the zoo.
p.s. Hi Dad!