Monday, June 24, 2013

Ducklings, Camp, Solstice, and Pie

Our days have been full of caring for ducklings, or learning to care for ducklings which is an haphazard affair with a steep learning curve. They have brought us so much amusement and concern (about weather, adult duck dangers, cats, drowning, noise, getting in the coop, etc.) The best thing about having ducklings is that they stop a toddler tantrum cold. Owie-or-injustice-induced-screaming ends abruptly when you say, "want to go see the meep meeps?" And they make adults pretty happy too. It's hard to be mad while contemplating a little t-rex shaped bird with fuzzy down and a tiny bill.

Then we had the rotten egg incident. We brought an egg in with two other new hatchlings. It didn't hatch and before we removed it, Boo dropped it and it was the worst smell of my entire life. I had to put the 3-day-old ducklings outside with the bigger ducklings and the next day the cold rain started. So just as I was about to pick the big kids up from wilderness camp, I found a barely moving, very wet and cold duckling being trampled by the others. I wrapped her in a washcloth and stuck her in my bra and then drove out to pick up the kids. By the way back she was entirely recovered! She still doesn't mind being held by us and that's our reward.

The two oldest spent six hours a day Monday through Friday at Twin Eagles Wilderness School about 20 miles from our house. It poured rain and they learned survival skills like shelter, fire, wild edibles and purifying water. While I seriously doubted my parenting credibility after dropping them off in horrible weather, and then was late picking them up on the worst day, the kids ate it up.  They were smiling when I picked them up.  They said they had the most fun ever and I called that a "freebie".

Saturday we dared to bring really tired children up to join friends at their lake place to celebrate the summer solstice. I am so glad we did. We had a wonderful time.  The kids were fresh out of wilderness survival mode and so were their friends. They canoed to an island, begged to build a fire there (request denied), made civilizations in the sand, rode on the back of a trailer to get marshmallows back at camp, roasted those marshmallows and made the best of the long hours of daylight. Driving back we watched the super moon rise over the foothills and it was a perfect evening.

After kids were tucked in, we remembered the strawberry rhubarb pie I had made the day before and made a perfect evening even better. So much packed into this week that started with Father's Day and ended with a solstice party. In fact, we started with strawberry pie and ended with another. That's a good start to summer!