robins

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Axel turns three, sheep arrive, and Agnes reveals her little blue egg.

Monday, May 16th, 2011

This handsome boy turned three on Friday. We celebrated at Axel's favorite park he calls "spaceman park".  My friend Andrea made an amazing cake for him.  It was the best part of the party, besides seeing Axel being the center of attention by a bunch of adoring people.

I'm fairly certain that I could move mountains for him if he wanted me to.

I made a few things for him, one of them being these little pants.  I think they turned out pretty darn cute.  He likes them too.

The annual sheep drive happened on Saturday.  These sheep have been resting in our pastures for the past few days.  Today they continue their journey up to Waterworks Hill and beyond, where they will be responsible for weed removal.  The lambs are a huge hit around here.  The noises these animals make are hilarious, they sound vaguely human.  And the herding dogs are so good at what they do.  They keep these sheep in line, and make sure they don't wander off somewhere they shouldn't.  It's nice to see dogs doing what they were meant to do.

The young lambs follow around their mama  baaaaaaa-ing.  It's a bit reminiscent of my own babes once upon a time.

This lovely, wind-blown robin is Agnes.  She decided to build her nest in a box that hangs directly outside our front door.  The foundation of her nest is actually a nest that Asa build in his preschool class.  She took over, made some renovations and now calls it home.  Unfortunately, whenever we walk in or out of the door, she flies a few feet away onto the fence that surrounds the front of our house.  She chirps brazenly, looking right at us, warning  us to stay away.  She's been much more brave lately, and will sometimes remain in her nest despite too-close-for-comfort kids and such.

This is her giving me a warning.  Can you see her looking right at me?

I figured she must have laid some eggs, judging by her behavior.  So, we are all using the back door now, so as not to disturb her.  Statistically, the odds of a robins egg hatching and the baby bird surviving, are not that great.  So, we want to do everything we can to encourage Agnes to do what she needs to in peace and comfort.

See what I mean?  This is our front door, and her nest is in that little box!

While she was off for a few minutes, I quickly stuck my camera up higher than I could see, to take a quick snapshot of whatever was in her nest.  And, this is what I saw!  Only one so far, I'm not sure if she will lay more or not.  Typically a robin will lay two or three eggs.  Only time will tell.  I sure hope they make it.

All in one big beautiful spring day…

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Seasons here in Montana are never neatly defined.  Especially spring.  It can be any combination of  cloudy, snowy, rainy, sunny, windy, stormy.  But, yesterday was, what I would call, the quintessential spring day; warm, sunny, whispy clouds, and a tiny breeze to blow the hair out of your face.  It was the kind of day we long for and picture in our mind in the darkest of February days.

We found this robins nest in a wooden box  hanging outside of our house right next to our front door.  Asa had made a mud and straw nest at school, and placed it in this box a few weeks ago.  Apparently the robin saw some great nest making potential in it.  She added more straw and shaped it like a perfectly sculpted bowl, and now resides in it when we are not around.  I'm not sure how long she will stick around, as every time we open the door, she gets spooked and flies away.  Andy put a worm in her nest, hoping she would translate that as a peaceful gesture.  But, I'm not sure she noticed or cared.  We sure hope she stays.

We went hiking with some friends up Waterworks Hill.  The cowboys decided to join us, just in case their were any wild horses that needed to be wrangled.  All the kids played for a long time, loving it, as were the mama's.  It's amazing how much visiting you can get done, when your kids are entertained.  I'm thankful every day for these friends of mine.  They listen to my stuff, I listen to theirs.  Sometimes they offer advice, or exclamations, but mostly they just listen, which is all I really want.  This whole child rearing thing would be a lot harder without them around.

After our lovely hike we went fishing with Grandpa Eric who is visiting for the next few weeks.  We didn't catch anything, but it didn't really matter.  It was more about being outside, near water, watching geese chase each other, and casting our hooks out into the water.

Axel's face describes how all of us felt yesterday.  The sunshine melted our troubles away.  Until about 9pm when I realized that the same sunshine that made us so happy, also gave us all sunburns.  Axel had a very red neck, despite the hat and the neckerchief I had him wear all day.  Any of you natural products lovin' mama's have good sunscreen advice?  Recommendations? What do you think about it in general?

Happy Wednesday!