Wednesday, April 6, 2011

How to Catch a Salamander

(Note to toot my own horn: These pictures are all from TODAY. How ambitious is THAT!)

Last Friday the kids and I had a near-perfect afternoon. We were lucky enough to enjoy a couple-hour spurt of nice weather. In Oregon, when the sun comes out-- even for just a few hours-- everyone else comes out with it. People walk their dogs, kids go out and play, neighbors go for a jog. Jared and Camryn rode bikes while Jackson putted around on his scooter. When Addy woke up, I loaded her and Jackson into the double stroller and went for a walk around our neighborhood. We ran into a neighbor who was out planting flowers and got into a conversation. Eventually Jackson got tired of sitting in the stroller so got out and played with her kids. Pretty soon Addy followed suit. Before too long, Jared and Camryn came riding by on their bikes asking what was taking me so long. All of the kids ended up roaming the neighborhood, catching salamanders and playing in an open field, having the time of their lives while I had a relaxed afternoon chatting.

Ever since that afternoon when our neighbor Noah taught Jared and Camryn how to catch a salamander (You open up a control valve box in the grass and stick your fingers down by the control valve-- sounds great, huh?), these crawly amphibians have been the new stars of our household. We have a small box on our back deck to keep the catch of the day (until it escapes). Everyone loves "sah-manders" (as Jackson calls them) and every single day after school the kids hunt for them, go digging for worms to feed them, invite the neighbors over to see them and catch some of their own, etc., etc.
Meet "Sally"

The kids' outdoor play was interrupted by a hail storm, but this is Oregon. If you don't like the weather, just wait 15 minutes.
Camryn having fun in the hail storm.
"This is awesome!"

Jared explaining some important fact about hail.
"Dat's not rain! It's snowing!"
Eventually the hail storm passed and the sun came out again. Regardless or either, the kids are just having a great time hunting worms and salamanders. I think salamanders are my new best friends. They may even oust Curious George.
 "A salamander is just like a hamster, only more wet." -Jared


Ranell said...

Now I understand where you're finding all this time to blog lately! Glad the kids are having so much fun! It's amazing how a little sun and a little chat-time with a friend can make for a great afternoon. That's all I need to be happy for days!

Kelly(M&M) said...

Thanks for introducing Emily to the world of salamanders! she loves her new pets! love the pics and it sounds like a perfect day to me too!

Cassie said...

Karen, your kids are so big! I don't know why it always surprises me to see how they are all growing--my kids are growing too--but it does. It looks like a great day of exploration!