The Stork's Nest

May 2009



Friday, May 15th

Speakers

When this house was being framed, our son,
Matthew, pre-wired the house for speakers
that would provide music all over the house.

This weekend, he installed speakers in the
Great Room. I wish you could hear them!

Friday, May 22nd

More work on childrens' bathroom

We are still working on finishing the bathroom
downstairs. Mostly what remains is finishing
the drywall...UGH!

Matthew also built the soffit over the vanity
and installed the surround around the tub.

May 23rd-25th

Annual Memorial Day Weekend Family Campout

Every year our family gathers for a campout on Memorial Day Weekend.

Our family started arriving Friday night.

The weather was perfect and our grandchildren
spent a lot of time swimming. Here Heather's son,
Jeremy, tried to wear all the floaties at once!


Well, not all...perhaps this is all!

When they were not in the water, they were
riding 4-wheelers on the maze of paths
in the woods.

Dani's boyfriend, Ryan, helped Heather and I
cut down the weeds on the edge of the lake.
While doing that we hit on an idea for a small
deck on the hillside where towels and adults
could stay dry when everyone was swimming.

Before we knew it, Matthew and Miker had
built a small deck with two comfortable
benches and an end table!

It was a hot afternoon and they worked hard.

In just a few hours, they had built this little
deck with benches and hooks for life jackets.
What a beautiful job they did!


Before the project was even finished,
Christopher (5) and Abby (3) sat with Aunt
Rene' to try it out!

Then more play in the lake to cool off!

Now everyone is trying out the new deck!

Following Jeremy's lead, Abby and Christopher,
newfound cousin/friends at 3 and 5, piled up
the floaties and crawled inside!

Christopher is Stephanie's youngest
and Abby is Heather's youngest.

Early one morning, everyone went fishing. Mostly they caught Blue Gill and
Sunfish. The biggest ones were pregnant females. All were thrown back.
It was almost like shooting fish in a barrel. There are so many fish near the
dock that it only took a minute or so to hook a fish using a grub for bait.

Above is Michael, who proudly caught a big one...notice his high-tech fishing
pole! He barely got his line in the water when this fish hit the hook!

Below is Ryan, Dani's boyfriend, who caught the first ever bass in our lake.
We stocked 200 bass 2 years ago and have never seen them again, so we
have wondered if they survived at all. But this baby bass is proof that not
only are they out there, but they are reproducing!



S'Mores

Every night we were there, we had a campfire, sang songs and cooked s'mores. Most nights
we did it after dark with only the light of the fire and the torches...but I neglected to take any
pictures. The last night, we did it before dark:

The boys found this awesome luna moth on
the screened porch. Jeremy gives you a sense
of just how big it is!

More swimming...with Matt, Jeremy, Ray
(and Lucky), Taylor (Ray's friend) and Kyle.

Ray -- diving through the middle of the ring.

Jeremy throwing the frisbee for Molly.



Ray with a tiny snake the boys found. I think it is a baby Eastern Milk Snake. The Eastern
Milk Snake resembles a couple other species found in the east. Both the Fox Snake and the
Copperhead have similar blotchy patterns, but the milk snake is more slender, and has a
distinctive pale Y or V just behind the head. (Note the Y on the head of this snake.) The
eastern milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum) is a member of the group of constrictors
called "king snakes." Constrictors kill their prey by asphyxiation. King snakes get their
name because they often kill and eat other species of snakes, including venomous species
such as rattlesnakes.

   

POSTSCRIPT

In January we shared that our female swan, Gretel (we think) wandered off, never to return.
Fred tracked her through the snow for about a mile or so. We made flyers and put them
in mailboxes in an ever widening circle. We eventually got reports that she had been sighted,
first, in a lake about 2 miles from here. (She stayed there a few weeks and then moved on.)
Next she was sighted "just passing through" a yard, further to the west. Finally, about 2 weeks
ago we got a call from someone almost 4 miles from here who had heard about a swan that had
just shown up at a neighbor's lake in late March. We distributed our flyers again on that road
and soon learned that she had been there a few weeks and was then found dead...apparently
killed by a mink...or at least that is what this neighbor thought it looked like. So, sadly, she is
gone for good. Hansel is sad and lonely without her, so we will have to look for a new mate.

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