Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Morsels: Easter, Chicks, Tadpoles and more

Morsels:  Tiny bits of goodness from the past weeks....
(Sorry for the list like post, and so many pictures.  It seems to be the only way I can get things recorded these days). 

The weather is ever so slowly creeping toward warm, but just won't quite get there.  I keep trying to clean out our mud room but since we're all still wearing our winter coats some part of each day, its a slow process.           I think we're done with the snow pants.  

The day before Easter we were busy with yard work and gardening.  My running group was mostly out of town or injured, so Wylie biked beside me while I did an afternoon run in the sun.  It was a good fast pace, and a fun way to visit with this growing boy of ours.  
That night I stayed up late, hiding eggs by head lamp, stitching ears onto stuffed bunnies, counting out jellybeans to be fair.  Rob slept on the couch.  Hmm.  It seems that this is the norm at our house and many of our friend's houses too-- Dads who are more than happy to participate in holiday traditions, but moms pulling all the stops to make them happen.  Is that true for you?  I suspect this has been the case historically, for women to create and uphold family traditions.  Which doesn't mean it shouldn't change, or be challenged.     But, it also feels somewhat comforting to imagine my mother, and grandmother, great grandmothers before them, all staying up late, sneaking in times to gift for family, to stitch special surprises for their children, to hide eggs after bedtime and hope the dog doesn't eat them before dawn. 

Our family is not Christian and does not celebrate Easter as a Christian holiday (though we talk about why others celebrate it).  For us it is a celebration of spring, rebirth, eggs hatching, bulbs pushing up through the dark earth, all that good stuff.  Dyed, hard-boiled eggs and candy too.  I'm ok with that.  
We started our morning with coffee (for the tall) and jelly beans (for the short), and a small egg hunt. Somehow the eggs seemed so much better hidden at 8:30pm by headlamp than they did at 7:00 am in bright sunlight.  It was a short event. 

Easter Sunday was sunny and 50's, and when sitting directly in the sun, on a protected south facing deck, it felt near 80 for an hour, which was just enough time to leave a bright red collar of sun burn at my neckline, but more importantly to pretend it was summer while I sat and visited with my sister and her family, and Mimi over an Easter lunch and wine.  The kids hunted 50 eggs or so with cousins, and ate too much candy.

The Friday before, we made an impromptu trip to Tractor Supply for inner tubes for tires we needed, and a few new chicks for our flock.  Our older ladies have not been earning their keep. They're lucky summer's coming and upkeep will be cheap for free range birds.  Come fall they'll be taking a trip (perhaps the freezer, perhaps your house? Anyone interested?) So, 6 new biddies, Elsa and Anna (of course), Lollypop, Snowflake, Shelby, and one more.  They are not breeds I love, but its hard to say no to chicks.  We may pick up a couple of Buff Orpingtons (my favorite along with Americanas) when they are available at the hardware store in town.  And, we'd love to adopt some 16-20 weekers if anyone has some.  

Monday both big kids had play dates for the afternoon, so Kale and I kept busy by collecting frog's eggs (we hope).  Every year we go out for frog's eggs, and more often than not, hatch salamanders.  Salamanders are pretty cool, but they're not tadpoles.  This year I think we may have got the real deal.  Too early to be sure.  If anyone knows a sure fire way to tell them apart I'd love to hear it. 

    Almost green grass (and trucks), my retaining wall project in the background

   Marley's new spring haircut,  before....
    and after.  She goes to Dogwood ReTreat to be groomed a couple times each year. We love it there!

                Kale got some spiffy new stripey pants made from a Goodwill tube top find.  Score.  

     Mac and Cheese, hamming it up for the camera...

    Early garden work

     Searching high and low for eggs

    Leaving Mimi's after a lovely Easter celebration


  1. Looks like Spring! I did a quick Google search and found " Frog eggs vs. salamander eggs. Telling the difference between the two is quite easy. Frogs lay individual clear eggs with a visible embryo contained within each egg. With frogs, the outside edge of the egg mass is made up of the eggs themselves. Salamanders take it a step farther and coat the entire egg mass with an additional layer of jelly, presumably as protection from predators such as newts." I would guess by looking at the picture that you have salamanders, but I could be wrong. You also usually don't want to take the whole group of eggs, just 5-10 of them. You need something like a gallon of space for every 2 tadpoles, maybe more. This is our third year collecting them, and they just hatched a few days ago. We have nine in a large aquarium this year. Right now it only has 2 gallons of pond water in it, but we will add more as they grow.

  2. Yes, I remember that bit about the outer sac for salamanders. Bummer. They do look like tadpoles in there though--I'm still slightly hopeful.
    We'll put a bunch back into the pond when the hatch and just keep a few. I didn't want to tear the sac apart. There were several sacs there in the pond. I'll keep you informed as they develop.

  3. It will be fun to see what you get. We don't have many salamanders where we live, but it would be fun to see them develop as well.
    We are hoping to hatch a monarch this year too, if we can find some eggs.


I love hearing from you!