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!


Jeanette said...

Wow, this was a huge post! You know, if you posted more often, they wouldn't have to include so much lol

LOVE that picture of the fossil, it's pretty cool. And even the snake is kinda cute *Shudder*.

You make me feel like a bad mom, we didn't do a stinkin thing all summer long. Of course our summer was only three weeks long, but still...

We didn't go anywhere, we didn't do anything, just stayed home. My kids probably wish they lived with you LOL

Ele at abitofpinkheaven said...

Sounds like you had a great summer! Time spent outdoors is always worth it! Congrats on your win from Merci Me. The little house is CUTE!

momofa2e said...

You go to such awesome places! What a great mom you are. My kids complain if we go anywhere "nature-y". I figure if we try to do it more often they'll eventually start enjoying it...maybe...
I've been in Webelos for awhile, but they're moving me to Wolves now...gonna be interesting. I wish I had your! You amaze me.