Monday, August 31, 2009

The End of Summer

School is back in and it's the very end of August. Summer is about over around here! Not that you can tell, as it is still getting into the 90's most days... I thought I'd post some pictures of a few things we've done this summer...

We went for a couple of hikes up Green Canyon this summer. On our first hike, in June, I saw my first Sego Lily, Utah's state flower. Sego Lilly

A couple of weeks later, the boys and I climbed a rock slide, where we found fossils. We brought home a big pile of rocks with horn corral fossils in them to add to our collection. The pile by the carport is getting pretty substantial LOLhorn coral fossil

We also found this great plant, which is called Spider Milkweed. It took me a while to figure out what it was; it wasn't in any of my wildflower guides. And did you know that there are over 100 species of milkweed in North America?Spider Milkweed

No trip to Green Canyon is complete without a stop at the Boy Scout Cave.S, A and E at the Boy Scout Cave, Green Canyon

Joe and I went on a little picnic up South Canyon.South Canyon road, looking north towards Paradise

While taking pics of the wildflowers, I noticed this little beastie crawling up my leg... I have to admit I shrieked LOL Then I took a deep breath and a picture.Giant Ichneumon wasp, female

E received his Arrow of Light award (the highest award you can earn in cub scouts). I would show you pics of this proud moment, but I had S, my 12 yr old, taking them, and the only pics he got were of the back of E's head LOL He also earned his Webelos and graduated into 11 yr old scouts (we do cub scouts a little differently in the LDS church). Good job E!

We spent several days camping up Logan Canyon at Preston Valley campground. We used our new tent for the first time! Valori, my sil, stayed with us for a couple of days too. Grandma and Grandpa Ames joined us for a few meals. Joe is a FANTASTIC cook... so I let him do most of it. Aren't I nice? LOL We had a little excitement when I sent Aisy (my 6 yr old daughter) to the restroom to wash her hands, and she found this friendly little fellow...Racer snake

He's a Racer snake, completely harmless. They're long and skinny, move very fast, and climb trees when they're disturbed. This one was almost a yard long!

While we were there we saw plenty of wildlife. Lots of caterpillars and other bugs (Tiger Swallowtail butterly, Cabbage White butterfly, plenty of different beetles, cicadas, caddisfly larva), some small fish, an American Beaver (this is A, me and C waiting by the river, hoping to see the beaver again)...

A, me and C, Logan River, Preston Valley campground

a Red-naped Sapsucker...Red-naped Sapsucker on river birch, Logan Canyon

an American Dipper (he's perched on the end of the stick, kind of blends into the river)...American Dipper, Logan River

and lots of other birds (American Robin, Pine Siskin, lots of Yellow Warblers feeding their babies, Lazuli Bunting, Western Wood-peewee, Song Sparrow, Black-headed Grosbeak, Black-chinned and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds, Hermit Thrush, MacGillivray's Warber, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Barn Swallow, Violet-green Swallow, Chipping Sparrow, Red-tailed Hawk, Dusky Flycatcher and a Black-throated Gray Warbler).
We went on a hike with Grandpa...Me, C and Grandpa Ames, Preston Valley, Logan Canyon

And saw some beautiful wildflowers (although I'm going to spare you in this post, and only show you one). This is pink alumroot, or coral bells. It was growing all over the cliff on the other side of the river.Pink Alumroot, Logan Canyon

We went to our first Buzz baseball game. I'm pretty sure that out of my little family, I was the ONLY one watching the game LOL S was reading his book, the other kids were playing with their cousins or bugging Grandma and Grandpa Yeates. Not sure what Joe was doing LOL
Jeanette's family, my family and Grandma and Grandpa Yeates

After the game there was a wonderful fireworks show to celebrate Utah's statehood!
We went to the Cache County Fair. This year all the kids entered something in the Home Arts contest. E, A, Az and C entered lego entries by A, C and Az

S entered a wood carving. Unfortunately, it was displayed upside down! The carving is on the other side of the stick (it's a carving of a man). He was pretty upset about that.We also wandered around, ate lots of fair food (my cousins have a Frozen Lemonade stand every year, mmmm...) and checked out all of the 4H animals. We love petting the sheepies.Az and E

S played his first game of golf with Joe (dad) and Grandpa Yeates. He also got stung on the cheek by a yellow jacket this summer, but I don't think he'd appreciate me showing pics of his face all swollen up :)
Joe and I celebrated our 14th year anniversary by leaving the kids at grandma's house (thanks grandma!) and heading up to Tony Grove for some camping. There were wildflowers all around our camp!fireweed, aster spp and Indian paintbrush, Tony Grove campground, Logan Canyon

We borrowed some kayaks and spent most of Friday on Tony Grove lake. No pics, since I didn't want to take my camera out on the water. Here's a pic of the kayaks on the van though...It was SO MUCH FUN! We have a canoe, but these are way more fun. While we were on the lake, we kept noticing helicopters flying over. Since the lake is WAY up the canyon, this was pretty unusual. Apparently the thunderstorm the night before started a fire a couple of ridges over. We got out of the water just as the helicopters started using a big bucket to dip water out of the lake. That evening we headed down to Garden City, by Bear Lake, for dinner and a fresh raspberry cheesecake shake. Bear Lake raspberries are famous (at least around here LOL).It POURED most of the night, so we decided to pack up and head for home on Saturday. Tony Grove road, Logan Canyon

So we enjoyed a movie (the Proposal, love Sandra Bullock) and dinner at the Olive Garden. And when I got home, guess what was waiting for me on my doorstep?By some miracle, I won this amazing little house on the Oh Merci blog! It is truly divine :)

We still had all day Sunday before we had to pick up the kids, so we decided on a road trip. We went north to Idaho to see the Niter Ice Cave. It was really neat. We forgot a flashlight though, so we didn't go in very far. It's really too bad that some people think graffiti is a good way to express themselves :(
This is the lava vent that made the lava tube that became the ice cave. The vent and the cave are literally in the middle of wheat fields.We continued further north to the Black Canyon of the Bear River, where we had a really yummy picnic lunch (cooked by dh, of course, on his backpack stove).The river was beautiful.There was this wonderful old homestead nearby. I am fascinated by homesteaders. Don't you just wonder about the lives that were lived here?view of the homestead from the old apple orchard

view out the window of the old homestead

We finished off Sunday at grandma's house, having dinner with her, Valori and the kiddos. And picking more of these...I spent several days this summer bottling beans. Linda, my mil, plants a couple of rows of beans for me every year. The kids and I pick them, Linda helps me snap them, I bottle them, and Joe mans the pressure cooker for me. It makes me nervous LOL Yet another kindness by my sweet dh :)

Joe and I spent a Saturday hiking with the 11 yr old scouts on the Temple Fork sawmill trail. We cooled off in the REALLY COLD water of the spring...E and J, building a rock dam in the Temple Fork stream at the spring

and found a baby water snake (yes, this is me holding it. Snakes are awesome!)...
I did get some sewing done this summer, but this is the only thing I have a picture of right now... a new pillow for my living room.Linda taught S and E to sew while they were staying with her. They made pillows too. Linda has a LOT more patience than I do :)

We made a last minute trip to Salt Lake to buy a cello for E. He has outgrown the one we were renting. This one is a 3/4 size, so it should last him for a least 2 to 3 years. While we were there we enjoyed homemade chicken noodles at my mom's house. These are not like chicken noodle soup. They are thick flour/egg noodles in a chicken broth gravy that you eat over potatoes. I've never met anyone else who knows what they are, so they must be a family specialty. Only A and I appreciate them out of my little family LOL On the way home we ran into a cloudburst, which left us with this beautiful rainbow, captured by my son, S. If you look really closely, you'll notice it's a double rainbow.We finish off the summer every year with a trip to our secret monarch caterpillar hunting spot, a.k.a. Airport Road. This year we found 5 large caterpillars and 1 very small caterpillar. We also picked up a Virginian Tiger Moth caterpillar, which C (who is almost 4) calls the "feather bug". It looks like a yellow woolly bear caterpillar. This is one of our favorite end of summer traditions.Az, S, C and A caterpillar hunting, Airport Road

C and I found a little piece of heaven the other day...
Garff Wayside Gardens park, Logan

I drive past this park all the time and have never stopped here! I'll have lots of rose pictures to show you soon...

I hope your summer was a wonderful as mine!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Special Day

Fourteen years ago today I knelt across an altar in the Logan Temple and made a promise to love my sweet dh Joe for eternity. The power had gone out while we waited for our families to assemble, so we were married in the glow of flashlights. It was very romantic :)

Fourteen years later I am still in love with him. Happy Anniversary sweetheart!

We're spending four days up Logan Canyon, while our five kiddos get some quality time with grandma and grandpa. They'll be camping in grandma's backyard. I am looking forward to some fun time kayaking at Tony Grove, wandering around photographing the wildflowers and peering through binoculars at birds. And lots of quiet camp time with Joe! Oh, and those steaks that Joe has marinating... mmm... How blessed am I to have a dh that is a fantastic cook?

I'll be back in a few days, with lots of pictures that I will hopefully be able to post. Apparently Vista doesn't like to share over a network LOL

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend with those you love! I know I will!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A turtle in a hurry

E had a picnic at the park with his friends the other day, which of course inspired Az and C, my two youngest children, to have a picnic of their own on the back porch. They came running in after a little bit, begging me to hurry outside and see the cloud turtle. I was in the middle of a project, and was about to tell them no, when I decided that sometimes cloud turtles are more important than doing whatever I was doing. So off we went to see the big fluffy cloud turtle, that was originally a frog, then mountains, and finally a turtle. And boy was that turtle in a hurry! The clouds were at the perfect altitude for a fast wind. While other clouds were hanging almost motionless in the sky, that turtle was racing by. Unfortunately, my camera batteries were dead, or I would be posting a picture of the speeding turtle. And I was right, spending a few precious moments watching clouds with my children was far more important than whatever forgotten project I was busy with.

Have you taken the time to look for cloud turtles lately?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


It's been a while since I've been here, which leaves me feeling horribly guilty :) I thought I'd update you all...

I spent every Friday in May at Hogle Zoo, in Salt Lake City, Utah, taking a Utah Master Naturalist class. It was a really wonderful experience! I was able to learn more about aquatic systems/wetlands in Utah, and visit some fun places. We went on field trips to the G. K. Gilbert Geologic View Park at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon (it's a very tiny park, but the info signs are fantastic!), a short hike up Little Cottonwood Canyon, Farmington Bay, Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, USU Botanical Garden at Kaysville Ponds, and around Hogle Zoo itself, of course. My absolute favorite field trip was our last class, where we did a Boreal Toad survey at Strawberry Reservoir. Sadly, I forgot my camera, and have yet to see pics from anyone else's camera LOL We were able to find approximately 50 Boreal Toads, as well as several Chorus Frogs (we also heard some Northern Leopard Frogs, but didn't actually catch any). I would LOVE to participate in the survey again next spring! I am also hoping that I will be able to take the mountain module for UMN next spring as well. If any of you have a chance to take a Master Naturalist class (they are taught in most states), I highly recommend it. No experience is necessary :)

June was supposed to be very busy, but it ended up being busy in a different way than I expected. We always do our cub scout day camp in June, and that went as planned, with only a little bit of rain. It was still a lot of fun! Our theme this year was space camp, and they had an inflatable planetarium in the main cabin, which was awesome! The next week of June was supposed to be the annual Quilt Shop Hop with my mom and sister, but sadly Boy Scout camp and 11-year old camp were the same weekend. I decided it was more important to me to have dh go to camp, first a night with S at Camp Hunt at Bear Lake, then a day with E at Hull Valley, than it was for me to spend way too much money buying more fabric LOL I did get to spend one afternoon visiting Village Dry Goods in Brigham City and Red Rooster in Logan with my mom, sister, Peggy and Amy. We had lunch at Maddox first; that chicken salad was HUGE! While in Brigham we paid a little side visit to the thrift store there, where I got a couple of goodies to add to the towering pile of things I need to do something with LOL
July started off with a bang with a camping trip to Preston Valley, up Logan Canyon. We had a fantastic camping site, with flush toilets right across the street, yet totally screened by a layer of trees. It was a large site with plenty of room for our tent, a tent for S and A, and Valori's tent (we even had room for MORE tents, if anyone else had decided to stay). We were there from Wednesday afternoon to Saturday afternoon, plenty of time for some serious nature observing. Joe was very patient with my constant taking off :) Nature list (since I can't just post bird lists anymore LOL): pink alumroot, lance-leaved stonecrop, Rocky Mountain maple, river birch, box elder, western meadowrue, yellow columbine, red osier dogwood, alfalfa, yellow sweet clover, wild roses, star-flowered false solomon's seal, sagebrush, tarragon, tiger swallowtail, cabbage white butterfly, several different unknown caterpillars, caddisfly larva, American beaver, song sparrow, yellow warblers (lots of them, feeding their babies), lazuli bunting, American robin, yellow-rumped warbler, black-throated gray warbler (a life bird for me!), barn swallow, violet-green swallow, black-chinned hummingbird (the camp hosts, right next to us, had several feeders that were always covered in hummers), MacGillivray's warbler, American dipper, chipping sparrow, red-tailed hawk, black-headed grosbeak female, red-naped sapsucker, pine siskin, dusky flycatcher, western wood-peewee, hermit thrush, racer snake (you should have heard the piercing screams from Az when she discovered this snake in the restroom! LOL), and some little fish in a pool of water that connected to the river (I think they are immature trout, since I can't find any pics of minnows that look like them). I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but that's quite the list isn't it? It was a really fun trip, and most of those things were found right around our campsite! Friday night we came down from the canyon and watched the fireworks from Valori's yard. Can't miss the 4th of July fireworks, even if you're camping!

Last night we took a short drive up Green Canyon. The boys and I hiked up a rock slide, where we found some horn corral fossils and a BIG yellow crab spider (I grabbed a stalk of tarragon to take a pic, and almost grabbed the spider instead!). Valori came with us, and had to be back to do a massage (how lucky am I to have a sister-in-law who is a massage therapist? LOL), so Joe left me at the rock slide and took Valori back to the mouth of the canyon. I walked half-way down, taking wildflower pics along the way, to the "boy scout cave", where I caught up with my family. Nature list: tarragon, rabbitbrush, sagebrush, Rocky Mountain maple, juniper, spider milkweed (this is a really cool looking milkweed), Virgin's Bower clematis, aster spp., red clover, yellow sweet clover, alfalfa, common mullein, thistle, sego lily (Utah's state flower), wild roses, some yellow flowers that I haven't identified yet, spotted towhee, chipping sparrow, broad-tailed hummers, and assorted dragonflies. The canyon was pretty dry, and a lot of things were done blooming, so this trip wasn't as great as last months, but still a nice evening in the canyon.

I am hoping to post a BUNCH of pictures later today or tomorrow, so be on the lookout!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tag You're It "Time"

The theme this week on the Tag You're It blog is Time for Tea. Well, being LDS (i.e. a "Mormon"), I don't do tea LOL So I'm just using the "time" part of the theme for my tag. I chose to do an accordion tag, with a letter spelling out "time" on each section. Each of the postage stamps is from a paper by Rusty Pickle. For the first one I embossed the ring on the "always" circle tag, added some buttons, and a big "T" stamped behind it. The next section has a clock face stamped on the background, a watch hand, and glitter on the flowers of the postage stamp. Next I added a watch crystal on the pocket watch on the postage stamp. On the final section I added a vintage button from my grandma. Unfortunately I managed to break the center of the button, so I disguised it with a rhinestone (because there should always be sparkle on every project :) ). The alphabet stamps are the collage set by SU!, one of my favorite alphas. This was a fun project, and I think I'll put it on my computer desk to remind me to not spend so much TIME on the computer LOL

Saturday, February 21, 2009


A birding friend called Saturday morning to let me know that there were White-winged Crossbills at the Smithfield Cemetery. As WW Crossbills are usually only found HIGH in the mountains around here, dh and I decided we'd better run out to Smithfield to see if we could find them. After chasing a small flock of birds from conifer to conifer around the cemetary, the male above kindly perched at the very top of a very tall tree long enough for us to get a good look at him. I wish you could see him better in the picture, as he is SUCH a pretty shade of red, and they have such interesting bills.

This is one of three Red-tailed Hawks that were soaring over the cemetery. We also saw Pine Siskins, American Robins and 3 Mule Deer at the cemetery. It was a beautiful day to be outside, and after the cold I've been laid up with all week, it was WONDERFUL to get out again!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sketch tag

This week's challenge on the Tag You're It blog was a sketch. These are the colors in my family room, and this is actually the third tag I've made in these colors. I was joking with dh that I will end up with a wall of tags LOL It's just so easy for me to create in these colors; they really speak to me. And of course I love anything with a quote on it! Surprisingly, there isn't any bling on this tag, just mini deco fasteners and prima flowers. I need some nice mossy green glitter LOL