I had just wheeled Desty over to the side door of our van, she climbed in and Dustin was approaching. Benny, who was standing on the driveway beside me, suddenly raised his hand as to signal HALT, and screamed
"DAD! DON'T STEP ON NATURE!"
It was one of those moments that took Dustin and I by surprise. Dustin was clueless and just stood looking at his boy as if he had lost his marbles. Benny: "NATURE, DAD, NATURE!" pointing to the cement below. I put it together and realized that Benny was trying to protect an ant from being squashed by Dad's Crocs.
Kids! We have been talking a lot about nature, insects, animals, the habitat, etc. A few days before, I was at a loss of words when Benny asked me why we don't kill bugs that are outside. (Okay, so we are not perfect, we abolish bugs that are in the house!) And so I said, "They're nature; they are part of nature". I guess he took it to heart!
Last Monday, 6/23, we went hiking on Mesa Trail after a quiet and yummy picnic lunch.
Our first time hiking on the south end of Boulder's famous Flatirons was absolutely enchanting, with new scenery over every hill and around every bend. At the beginning of the trail, we crossed a rushing South Boulder Creek, and we were able to find still water for the kids to wade in. As we proceeded up the trail, I began singing "the Hills Are Alive With The Sound of Music..." I'm guessing we hiked ~1.5 miles, and along the way the kids climbed big boulders, listened to birds singing, saw bunnies, dodged butterflies, and explored interesting flowers and plants.
Both Benny and Desty have what I call "Dino-itis"... Benny found this rock with what he thought was a giant footprint on top of it. Naturally, I suggested it was a dinosaur footprint, and boy, what an exhilarating hike we had then. Desty kept shouting, "Boy, SHHHHH! The dinosaurs will eat you!" He, of course, didn't believe her. If you've never heard a 3.5 year old say Paleontologist, you're missing out!
On Tuesday we went to the Denver Zoo and covered most of its 80 acres of animal wonderland. It was hot - very hot! And the rest of my family was relieved we couldn't go home because our Rug Doctor was making our carpets beige again. So we wondered around for five hours. Desty's interest lies in the smaller, less intimidating creatures, like birds, little fox-like furry things and fish. Benny prefers "big, mean, ferocious, scary, sharp teeth animals". Benny and I actually watched two brown bears quarreling - okay, they were fighting and looked just like Benny and Desty - teeth and all! It was, without a doubt, the coolest thing I've ever seen at a zoo! Unfortunately, there's no video of it. Desty really liked the bird (pictured to the right) and would've spent all day with it if we had let her. Dustin took 75 pictures of animals at the zoo. That same evening we had a lovely picnic in our backyard with two of our amigos bueno.
On Thursday, Benny and I had a five hour adventure while Dustin, an amigo bueno and Desty did major house cleaning. Benny and I ate lunch and played at PlayGround Cafe (I prefer fast food Playlands!), then basically took an extended hiking tour of northwest boulder, along the foothills. We played at four parks and one lake, and an exhausted boy fell asleep in my lap on the bus ride home.
Friday night was date night for Dustin and I. No more than a mile south of our house, hides a Boulder secret: a wildlife and wetlands park and (murky) pond! It is really neat because you know not what you'll find, ranging from insects and fish to slimy reptiles. We are pretty sure we found a snake lurking on a log in the shallow muck. We difiniately found turtles, fish, birds, butterflies and dozens of dragonflies and mosquitos. Oh, and it seems we found Dustin's reflection also!
You can click the image below for an album
"Dad! Don't Step On Nature! album
Tomorrow is the last day of my summer vacation. I took eight wonderful weeks off to play, hike, find a preschool and sleep - oh, the life! My goal was to take advantage of every second before Summer term starts. And I did! As the vibrant summer life of your favorite Mom On WheelZ comes to a close, we have our memories... JUST KIDDING! I may be taking Accounting I and II combined into one 8 week course, AND Business Research at the same time, but THE FUN SHALL NOT DIE!!!!!!!! And, if all goes as planned, I will be finished with my classes in mid-October and roll down the aisle on December 15th, 2008!