Monday, February 6, 2012

A gorgeous winter day and a walk in the woods

It has been a gorgeous winter! Well...according to me, some folks actually like piles of snow everywhere. We have had more 50 degree days over this winter than I have ever experienced in NY, keeping in mind I've only lived here for four winters. I'll take it! Today has been one of those days, almost 50 degrees, and you can see the gorgeous blue sky in the picture above.

Once we finished school and had lunch, of course we had to go outside and get some sunshine and fresh air. The boys have all been dragging and tired, too many late nights lately and not enough sunshine vitamin. We supplement with a good vitamin D, but there's nothing like the real stuff! Before I even had socks and shoes on, they had already dragged their 2 year old little sister up into the woods behind our house, along with both dogs. When I caught up with them they insisted the dogs made them do it. So we all went walking through the woods, the boys following the dogs, Abbie and I following the boys. Walking at the speed of a two year old, the boys and dogs were soon out of sight. What I am really enjoying about having such a nice winter is that we can hike through the woods without the danger of bees, wasps, snakes, or other scary, icky things. There aren't even any flies to annoy you.

The most annoying thing I've found is that the burdock is ruthless. I don't understand what that was every created for (Yes I know burdock has medicinal properties, but I'm talking about those stupid wiry balls that hang on the plant). I mean it has to have a purpose, but those sticky annoying balls drive me insane! They get stuck to everything. The dog comes in with them all over her and then embeds them in the carpet. Do you know how hard it is to get every little piece out of the carpet? Then there was the time that Abbie was cuddling with the dog, who had burdock all over, and it stuck in her own hair. She has the same color hair as the little burdock balls so I didn't notice it. But she kept coming up to me and telling me her neck hurt. I finally found the burdock all in her hair and it had made a huge rash all over her neck, shoulders, and upper back. That stuff is evil I tell ya. Today was no different, it got stuck everywhere. As I'm strolling through the woods thinking about burdock, I remember hubby saying a few weeks ago that he bets Velcro was inspired by burdock. So I looked it up, and it absolutely was! Wikpedia says: "The prickly heads of these plants (burrs) are noted for easily catching on to fur and clothing (being the inspiration for Velcro[3]), thus providing an excellent mechanism for seed dispersal.[2] Burrs cause local irritation and can possibly cause intestinal hairballs in pets. However, most animals avoid ingesting these plants." So isn't that interesting? And yes I caught the part about how the annoying little balls are an excellent mechanism for seed dispersal, bla bla bla, whatever...still seriously annoying.

Anyway, so back to our hike. Once we caught site of the boys again, I realized I was on a completely different path and had to find our way down a very steep hill (ok not THAT steep but covered in leaves and mud it's pretty slippery so it seemed really steep). As we get closer to them and I'm prying my shoes out of ankle deep mud, I wonder why in the world I would follow a group of boys following two crazy insane dogs. Abbie sees the boys doing this:
 Mountain climbing fallen tree roots. She squeals and runs toward them. You can see her head in the bottom of this pick. Then her feet sink deeply into the mud and she falls face first into the mud. Sorry there isn't a picture of that, for once I did the right thing and ran after her to help her up instead of laughing and taking a picture first =) Both of us covered in mud I decided it was time to head back. Of course the boys take a route back that you have to wade through a muddy stream. So I did the right thing this time and did NOT follow them. I took myself, Abbie, and the white puppy who I didn't want to have to bathe when we got back, up and around the creek.

We're almost back to the house and Lacey discovers this:
 Sorry about the blurriness on the left side of the pic. Abbie had my camera and I didn't notice the BIG fingerprint on the lens until a couple pictures later.

Then the cat did this:
Even from behind, doesn't it look like she's hissing?
Then Lacey says "oooh it's a game!" And does this...
 Took awhile to get her back in the house! She had too much fun chasing her. Better a cat than a chicken though!

I hope everyone is having as beautiful of a day as we are!

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