Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Preschool Graduation

The skit at preschool graduation was the Very Hungry Caterpillar. As you can imagine we were thrilled when Alex was given the part of the cherry PIE, though he doesn't seem as happy to be ensconced in whipped cream as a person should be. Ben got to be a lollipop. The Muslim kid was given the part of the salami, I do not jest.

Ben won the "Bird Lover Award," no doubt overcoming heavy brotherly competition, and Alex's is "Best Reader."

Friday, May 13, 2011

Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware

Where we heard the laughing gulls laughing, saw shorebirds on the shore, heard a whip-poor-will saying its name in the night, and saw horseshoe crabs horsing around at high tide; and where Alex and Ben saw the ocean for the first time. Not content to leave the beach there, we brought back most of its shells in our pockets and most of its sand in our car.

Flowering plants at the Great Sand Dune

Digging at the Great Sand Dune

Mating horseshoe crabs

Ben's proud collection of horseshoe crab (exo)skeletons

Beach at which we saw dunlins, least terns, caspian terns, black-bellied plovers, red knots, ruddy turnstones, sanderlings, dowitchers, yellowlegs, willets, osprey, cormorants, and lots of gulls.

Ben tapping a horseshoe crab

Closeup to the hc's magical ancientness (older than the dinosaurs!)

Tent time


Running to see the ocean for the first time.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Birding in Delaware

Excitement without stress is a wonderful combination. Yesterday we had a wonderful birding adventure at Bombay Hook NWR along Delaware Bay, where we finally saw all those shorebirds that we've heard they have at, you know, shores. And stopped by the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center on the way home-- where we saw two fledgling great horned owls. The little one peered at us suspiciously from the giant nest: amazing! (Though too far away to photograph and anyway my camera batteries ran out).

Alex, then Ben, at the pond where we saw calling, nesting willets.

Ben climbing a little observation tower.

Blue grosbeak (right out the car window).

On a (higher) observation tower at Bombay Hook.

At the beach at the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center.