into the mist

hmmm… what have we here?

Last weekend we flew down to North Carolina to see the little one, and her parents, of course. 😉 A visit to the Museum of Life & Science in Durham proved to be a great adventure. The museum’s tag line is “know wonder.” We spent most of our visit at the “Into the Mist” outdoor exhibit because that’s where Katherine’s curiosity led her.

time to investigate the intermittent mist at closer range…

Activate push-button mist fields and watch as droplets of water suspended in air form clouds that hover over small valleys. How does humidity and wind impact your misty landscape? Take a one-of-a-kind stroll through this cooling landscape and watch as rainbows appear then disappear. Climb through tunnels, make sand sculptures, or just sit, cool off, and observe the beauty of mist, landforms, and rock.
~ Museum of Life & Science website

noticing how slippery the steps are…

Katherine is an observer. This little amphitheater/mist pit captured her attention. For a good while she studied carefully how the other children played until the mist stopped coming up from the ground and then how one of them would run up the stairs to push a button on top of a pole to make the mist appear again.

continuing her investigation…
still figuring things out…
watching another child press the button…
a new friend to play with on the sidelines…
but it must be more fun in the middle…
think I should try this, Grandpa?

When she finally decided to take the plunge she had a wonderful time and got thoroughly soaked in the mist.

cool!
oh this is fun!
taking note of a pine cone…
joy!
it’s so wet…
the little scientist explores…

After changing Katherine into dry clothes we all had lunch and then Grammy & Grandpa Tim got to take our little darling on the Ellerbe Creek Railway. She’s very interested in trains these days and there are a few more in the area we hope to ride on during our next visit. While on the train we passed the Hideaway Woods outdoor exhibit and will definitely have to check out the huge tree house playground. But we had all had enough excitement for one day and it was getting hotter as the day wore on. Hard to believe it was still February.

weekend in the mountains

12.10.16 ~ cougar, Western North Carolina Nature Center

Last weekend we flew to a different part of North Carolina, where Tim’s brother had rented a vacation house in the southern Appalachians. So we had a little family reunion and an early Christmas there. We spent the better part of Saturday at the Western North Carolina Nature Center in Asheville. It was very cold there in spite of the welcome bright sunshine!

12.10.16 ~ Katherine was very much interested in understanding and using the map

We bundled up and enjoyed seeing many animals native to the Southern Appalachians. All of the animals there are rescues and could not survive in the wild. Katherine especially loved watching the river otters gliding in and out of the water, but I couldn’t get a good picture of them. They were moving too fast!

12.10.16 ~ Katherine studying the brochure
12.10.16 ~ sunshine made the bitter cold easier to bear
12.10.16 ~ Western North Carolina Nature Center
12.10.16 ~ watching other children play
12.10.16 ~ sunlit beauty
12.10.16 ~ let’s see, where should we go next?
12.10.16 ~ let’s proceed!
12.10.16 ~ taking in a bit of rock climbing
12.10.16 ~ we didn’t take this trail but I thought the sign was beautiful
12.10.16 ~ deserted picnic area – too cold for a picnic
12.10.16 ~ coyote, Western North Carolina Nature Center
12.10.16 ~ another beautiful sign
12.10.16 ~ screech owl, Western North Carolina Nature Center

This little screech owl is blind in one eye and is being used to educate the public about rescuing wildlife. Katherine was paying close attention.

12.10.16 ~ Katherine in Mama’s arms, watching the screech owl and listening attentively to its handler

We stayed in Asheville for dinner out at the Tupelo Honey Cafe, “a southern restaurant with mountain south roots.” Tim enjoyed the food so much he bought their cookbook! And after dinner we took in the Christmas light and music extravaganza at Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland. There were so many light displays it took us a full hour to drive through the two-mile maze, synchronized holiday music playing on our car radio! It was a pretty dazzling experience.

Sunday we stayed in the cabin, enjoying each other’s company by the fire. Dima, Larisa and Fran whipped up some scrumptious dishes for us. A perfect weekend!

credulous animals

10-1-16-0506
10.1.16 ~ alpaca portrait ~ Museum of Life & Science, Durham, North Carolina

If I wanted a one-sentence definition of human beings, this would do: humans are the animals that believe the stories they tell about themselves. Humans are credulous animals.
~ Mark Rowlands
(The Philosopher & The Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death & Happiness)

two years old

9-30-16-0397
9.30.16 ~ Katherine painting with water

We had a wonderful vacation week visiting our granddaughter and her parents in North Carolina. Katherine just turned two years old and what a busy little girl she is! So many interests.

9-30-16-0400
9.30.16 ~ morning light

One morning Katherine and I took a walk and sat for a little while and shared an apple. A squirrel started digging a hole for his nut very close to us. Then we watched him race up a tree and come back down with another nut which he buried in another spot. Katherine asked me to pick her up so she could follow him with her eyes, up and down the tree, burying one nut after another in the ground under the leaves. After a while Grandpa Tim found us to tell us breakfast was ready and he took the picture below.

9-30-16-0409
9.30.16 ~ squirrel magic
9-30-16-0420
9.30.16 ~ Katherine got a lot of practice saying “squirrel”
9-30-16-0426
9.30.16 ~ back home for breakfast, purse and cell phone in hand

One day we went to the Museum of Life & Science in Durham…

10-1-16-0463
10.1.16 ~ contemplating mirror images
10-1-16-0501
10.1.16 ~ Katherine loves making friends with animals
10-1-16-0502
10.1.16 ~ Katherine and friend
10-1-16-0503
10.1.16 ~ not sure what kind of animal this one is

Back at home Katherine decided that PB the Penguin needed a walk in her stroller. 🙂

10-1-16-0569
10.1.16 ~ Katherine has PB strapped in well
10-1-16-0588
10.1.16 ~ Katherine and her chicken friends
10-1-16-0649
10.1.16 ~ cute as a button
10-1-16-0694
10.1.16 ~ deer magic
10-1-16-0727
10.1.16 ~ time to take PB the Penguin back home
10-1-16-0740
10.1.16 ~ consulting with Mom about readjusting PB’s safety straps

Needless to say we had a great time on our visit!!!

from daffodils to snow

3.21.16.2448
3.21.16 ~ second day of spring in Groton, Connecticut. The small dumpster is for construction debris from our bathroom renovation.

It’s been snowing! I’ve come back from my twelve days in North Carolina, where spring has already sprung, big time!

3.13.16.2082
3.13.16 ~ daffodils blooming in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Poor Katherine… it’s no fun when it’s so nice outside but you are miserable with a fever and a very runny nose. And you don’t want to get out of your pajamas or comb your hair or let go of your bunny or blanket… And your visiting Grammy still insists on getting some pictures of you!

3.13.16.2090
3.13.16 ~ Katherine and Hopkins the bunny.
3.13.16.2096
3.13.16 ~ Maybe I will try taking a little walk.
3.13.16.2112
3.13.16 ~ Getting warm, time to take off this jacket. Yes, I do know that one pajama leg is scrunched up and I don’t care!
3.13.16.2116
3.13.16 ~ Maybe Daddy can get the blanket draped over my shoulders just the way I want it.
3.13.16.2119
3.13.16 ~ Then again, maybe not. Oh well. Feeling warm enough so I’ll just sit here with Hopkins and Daddy again.

Several hours later – it must have been at least 80°F in the afternoon!

3.13.16.2437
3.13.16 ~ Mommy persuaded me to get dressed and follow her out to the garden, but I still don’t feel well…
3.13.16.2441
3.13.16 ~ Mommy and I fixed the position of a slate stepping stone that had shifted over the winter.

I had a lovely time visiting the little one and her parents. Their new house is beautiful. Larisa and I planted some seeds in her vegetable garden, re-potted a couple of plants, discussed colors for painting the walls, took walks, ate out several times, and went shopping for all sorts of things for the house and for clothes for Katherine. I also got to spend time with my friend from high school, Susan, who lives only two miles away. We got caught in a scary thunder and hail storm one night on our way home from having dinner out. Yikes! And I had plenty of time to work on my ancestor table (see sidebar) while the family was at work and daycare.

Now that I am home work on the bathroom has stalled as we wait for the floor tile to come in. But a lot got done while I was gone. The new closet is framed out, the electrical and plumbing are all done, and the walls are up. And I’m looking out my window at about 5 inches of snow – quite a contrast to the daffodils down south!

not born yet!

9.19.14 ~ Chapel Hill, North Carolina
9.19.14 ~ sculpture at Caffe Driade, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

A quick update: Mother Nature has decided that we must wait still longer for this baby… Mother and baby are doing well, but some things aren’t to be rushed. Perhaps she’s waiting for the first day of autumn? We’ll have to wait and see.