At the end of last week, I gathered up the small folk and we headed up to a nearby wildlife preservation for a short hike. The plan was to meet up with a former student of mine and his parents, in town for a visit to family on their way home from a longer trip to the coast north of here. It ended up being a really nice visit. It had been years since we had seen our friends, and actually, that former student is now sixteen. I taught him in first and second grade. Yikes.
The little turtle pond at the refuge was ridiculously full of all kinds of animals. Turtles poking their heads out of the water every few feet, dragonflies zooming past, tadpoles the size of my hand. Mariam was mesmerized by this. And possibly a little overwhelmed. There was a lot of stuff in there! But it was very cool to see the buzzing and bustling diversity of life in the little pond, especially because it is so close to such a densely packed urban area. They put up traffic signs along the side of the road here that say "thickly settled." Which I guess is supposed to translate to: "There are a lot of people all over this place. Be careful, eh?" Somehow, I find this kind of funny.
As we were leaving, we came across this cicada. I occasionally find the empty molts of these guys in the yard here, but this is the first time that I have seen one all put together properly.
So, I don't know. Is this the part where we talk a little bit about how many people keep things like china in their dining room cabinets, but I am amassing a small collection of empty bird's nests, eggshells, and dead insects instead? No? Okay, nevermind then.