Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Adventures With Ewan

We don't take care of our grandkids very often anymore.  They are getting older and don't require as much supervision or the older ones can take care of the younger ones.  Every now and then we get to have them one on one.  These are the best times.  They don't have to share us with any other kids, and we don't have to give equal time to each of them.  Sunday night and Monday we spent time with our youngest grandchild.  I have written about Ewan many times.  He is so entertaining.  For those who don't know how to pronounce his name, it's You-an.  The EW makes the U sound.  He is five years old and starting Kindergarten soon.

This photo reminds me of the John Greenleaf Whittier poem called "The Barefoot Boy".  The first line is "Blessings on thee, little man, barefoot boy with cheek of tan!".  Ewan certainly has cheeks of tan.

Whenever Ewan visits he must check on the leprechaun that lives in our woods.  He is fascinated with him.  It all started on St. Patrick's Day.

So on this visit the first thing we did was take a walk.  We had to see if there were any signs of the leprechaun.  We didn't see a thing so when we returned to the house Ewan had Papa looked up leprechauns on the computer to see what they like to eat.  He was going to set a trap and needed to do some research.  What we would do with one wasn't discussed.  I guess we would cross that bridge if and when it happened.  I think he thought the leprechaun would run away, but he would leave behind a bunch of gold coins and jewels.

This was actually the second day of research .  The previous day
didn't produce the desired results.

Through much research, it was determined that leprechauns are very difficult to trap.  Ewan decided that something sweet like a marshmallow would probably be enticing.  Papa and Ewan designed a trap.  It was an empty oatmeal box.  It had green and blue on it already so the only decorations it would need would be pictures of clovers drawn and colored on the top.

Next we had to choose the perfect spot to set the trap.  We threw a few marshmallows along the trail to tease the leprechaun.  Then we set up the trap.

They cut a hole in the top so when the leprechaun looked
 in he would fall into the hole.

Everything looked perfect.

In order to be sure, they set up another style trap in the actual leprechaun house.  It consisted of a rusty upside down bread pan and a stick.  When the stick got bumped, the pan would fall and trap the leprechaun.

This was also baited with a marshmallow.

Then we waited.  We had to wait overnight.  First thing in the morning, even before breakfast, we had to check the traps.  So we quickly got dressed and headed off into the woods.

Oh dear, nothing is in here except marshmallows.

Ewan thought about it and said "of course, the leprechaun is too short to climb the tall slippery box".  We had to redesign things and make something more accessible to a small little leprechaun.  They decided to cut the bottom off of a clear plastic bottle and bury it at ground level.  Then instead of marshmallows, Ewan thought a little cereal would be better.

They headed off with a shovel, a plastic bottle, and a ¼ cup of rice chex.

They dug a small hole for the bottle.

He buried the bottle upside down
and put in the cereal.

It's almost invisible except for the cereal.

Nothing had appeared in the traps throughout the day.  He would check often, always taking his trusty bow and arrow in case he came across any danger in the woods or if the leprechaun got angry.

To avoid total disappointment, we asked Ewan if he wanted to go on a treasure hunt called geocaching.  We have done this several times with the older kids, but not with him.  We thought the chances of finding a pile of gold coins and jewels were pretty slim, but perhaps we could find something of interest and change his focus.  We looked online and found a cache near our home that was large enough to hold some goodies.  We found the cache easily.  Ewan's reaction to what was inside was less than enthusiastic.  There was a dollar bill in the box and an interesting NASA postcard, but it just wasn't the same as gold.

The look of disappointment.

At this point it was lunchtime, so we headed to McDonald's.  I know, not a good choice, but he did have apple slices and milk.  Then we went to the library to get a book on reptiles.  After a quick nap in the car (it's exhausting looking for leprechauns), things were much better.  He ended the day on a happy note and so did we.  

"Ah! that thou couldst know thy joy, Ere it passes, barefoot boy!"

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Train of Life

With the death of my dad comes piles and piles of paperwork to keep track of.  I am trying to keep track of everything and trying to keep everything in order.  However, a few days ago, I was straightening up some of the mail that had come in.  There in the pile was a bookmark.  I remember seeing this before.  Someone had sent it to me or given it to me in the past.  I apologize to whoever it was who gave it to me.  If it was someone reading this blogpost, please let me know.  I remember liking it, but it didn't have the impact or significance it has now.  How or why it appeared now is anybody's guess, but I think I was meant to see it at this moment in time.  I hope it has meaning to others who are reading it.

I'm sorry I don't know who the author is either.  I wish I did.  I would like to give credit to the person who wrote these beautiful words.  I found other poems by this name, but not this one.

Our Resident Gray Fox

I originally posted a photo of this animal on facebook.  There was a lot of discussion as to what it is, but I can confirm from many sources that it is a Gray Fox.  It is a very odd looking animal.  Some thought that this is a pregnant female.  I can't prove that fact because I have not seen any offspring.

I have only seen her one other time during the day, but she comes almost every night and I can see her on the trail camera.  She has been coming often since last year.  I wonder if she has some fox pups hidden away somewhere close by.

She is looking slightly thinner and only time will tell if we see more in the area.

Another night time visit.  One of many over the course of time.

These final two photos are from August 2015.  This fox looks a little smaller but it is hard to tell if the angle is just a little different.  Obviously he or she lives in the neighborhood.