Saturday, September 12, 2009

My Town

The Puget Sound, the ferries, the train, the beach, the woodsy wet GREEN woods, Mt. Rainier, the Cascade Mountains, the Mariners, the Pike Place Market, every touristy part of Seattle is a little part of me. I love the place. It will always be my home. My trips home have taught me to soak it all in. Not to miss anything when I'm there, family-wise and Seattle-wise! This summer we had one of the best trips ever, take a look!

Summer Continued

More of our Homer adventure...we visited this wonderful hidden treasure of a spot up on the hillside of Homer, The Win Nature Center. It took a map to get us there, but it was way worth it! We had a chance to talk with two naturalists about the wildflowers of the area, and then we went on a partillay guided, partially self-guided 2 mile hike with wildflower identification charts. Abby and I were very pre-occupied finding and photgraphing every type of wildflower. We got over 20 kinds! The entire hiking trail was marked with interesting notations about moose tracks and trails, fire information, and just general info about the flora and fauna. Another great thing about the Win Nature Center is that they are connected with schools and other groups interested in tours, like Girl Scouts, etc. As we were leaving one of the naturalists was setting up a GPS scavenger hunt for a Girl Scout group coming in later that afternoon. I think it is neat to discover this kind of place to tuck in my memory as a resource for later. This one was a keeper! The most interesting fact I can recall is about the stinky smell of the beautiful chocolate lily pictured below. The smell is meant to smell like rotting moose carcass to attract the flies who can pollinate the lily. What an awesome and creative God we have!

This Sand-Hill Crane was wandering in a neighborhood we drove through

More Summer Fun

The Islands and Oceans center has such a wide variety of activities... we were there just in time for an open science lab focused on crustaceans. The kids made bookmarks, used microscopes, observed all kinds of crustaceans- dead and alive, and even experienced a touch tank. On hand were many summer interns who are working on their master's degrees in marine biology. It was so neat. We spent 5 hours looking at exhibits, taking the trail to the beach, watching films about scientists and how they research, attending the lab, and listening to a wildlife talk from a ranger. David took the camera for a while in the lab to record his favorites...
A starfish (or seastar as it is supposed to be called- we learned this) eating it's lunch.
Photo by David.
Steve on the beach.
Sea Otter poop. Another photo by David. This has been cleaned of course, but was a fascinating part of the lab. These are all mussel shells and crab parts... what do you think that sea otter had for dinner?
The Homer 4th of July Parade... wow... it was a candy-fest. I have never seen more candy distributed- the kids had more in their bags than 2 Halloweens combined. on bikes, all the fire trucks.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Summer Highlights

Here's the beginning of our summer. I actually made a summer photo CD- the first CD I've ever burned ever!- and thought I should put a few of the memories on the blog. I did forget that I need to upload the photos in a different order, so the top should really be the bottom... These couple are from our 4th of July camping trip on the Homer Spit. We had a fabulous time camping in the sand and cooking over the fire. We spent hours looking for treasures, playing catch and chasing games, and visiting the Islands and Oceans center. More pics of this on the next posting...
This is of a fun hike up to Gold Cord Lake in Hatcher's Pass. The lake is crystal clear and FREEZING! The day was so warm, we all peeled off our shoes and rolled up our pants to cool off.
The training wheels still haven't come off permanently, but we're trying. And yes, it is the pinkest, sparkliest, girliest bike ever made. It even has attached to the handlebars a mini-bike for a Barbie doll to ride on. Only Abby...
A family bike ride with friends on the Gird to Bird trail along Turnagain Arm. 5 kids and 4 adults... lots of fun, and we only found out later at the ice cream store that bears were an issue...
This is the true David. Animal with a squirt gun. No mercy. No fear. Ruthless. Born sniper.

Our Sand Castle cake. The kids picked this idea out of the Family Fun magazine. We made it for a dinner with some fun favorite friends. Such a fun project with a major sugar high afterward! Went to 3 stores looking for Rock Pebble candy...

Our slip and slide rides again! We got some great video of this particular afternoon. The favorite position for the slip and slide this summer was attaching the hose to the top of the swingset slide with the slip and slide at the bottom. Lots of momentum going on then! By mid-June I had to duck tape the corners of the crash-landing pool and the hose connection. My mom sent this up a few summers ago, and last summer was so wet I don't think we even got it out!

Our annual trek to the Butte. Another gorgeous day in the Matanuska Valley. No band-aids this year, amazing!