I wanted to share this photo of an interesting red bug that Jack spotted over Memorial Weekend while we were rock hopping at the Granite Dells in Prescott. He seems to have a real knack for spotting bugs and other small creatures that are at our feet while I seem to always be looking to the horizon for the perfect photo. Some day I'll learn from him and pay more attention to my immediate surroundings and appreciate "the little things".
Just a quick update on our wildlife habitat (ok, our front yard). The birds officially ate all the bird seed by this past weekend. We watched that huge ball of seed shrink each day and finally disappear by Friday. I think it took them less than 3 weeks to devour that $13 ball. For a minute I considered not buying anymore...but the moment passed quickly. While shopping at Target I grabbed a 20 lb. bag of loose wild bird seed for $8. We'll see how long it lasts (I bought it on Sunday, August 16th).
The bunny returns daily now and even if we don't leave any produce scraps out there for him he quietly trims the edges of our bushes. It's like having our own personal gardener visit each day.
As we watched the birds this morning we noticed a new addition; it was some sort of woodpecker. He clung to the side of the Saquaro watching the other birds but never joined in on the feast. I dug out my bird book and discovered they're actually more into insects. I think I knew that but forgot until I read it...that's why they drill away into trees, cacti, etc. A little bit ago he was drilling away at the side of my house; I hope that doesn't mean we've got termites. Just kidding (well not really). When I opened up the curtains to look out about 25 birds that had been perched on our rooftop flew away.
I keep thinking about buying birding binoculars someday. It would make a great Christmas gift for the kids. This year I've sworn off all toys for their birthdays and Christmas. This may sound heartless but I'm so sick of looking into their playroom at all they have and choose not to take care of or keep picked up off the floor. Even their video games end up out of their cases, laying around just waiting to be broken or scratched. Gift ideas this year will include nicer bicycles. Their current Walmart and Target versions weigh a ton, the seats and handlebars move all the time no matter how much I tighten everything and Sammy's chain keeps falling off.
I'm brainstorming on a unique outdoors/survivalist birthday party idea since the boys birthdays are 3 weeks apart in Nov/Dec. I usually try to have a combo party and while Jack keeps requesting Pump It Up each year I still refuse to rent out that indoor bouncy house place! I know it's fun, but we can have more fun outside...and that place costs a fortune. I think I'll rent a picnic ramada somewhere for the party (keep it outdoors obviously).
I found a link to a business in CA that hosts these kids' survivalist parties for a fee, but I know I could create the experience on my own. It sounded like so much fun and they stressed being "green" by using recyclable paper goods (instead of plastic) and incorporating educational activities into the fun. I'd love to address the bottled water issue with the kids to really get them to thinking about all the waste they're contributing to. Any other ideas? I'll keep brainstorming and keep you posted as to my party plans and the success.