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June 24, 2010

The tornados went south of us, thank goodness. But there was some pretty hairy weather in my old neighborhood, so I was glad to be away from it. There was an incredible sunset after it all blew through last night. Taken from the balcony outside my bedroom last night:

And today is nothing short of spectacular. Gone is the heat and humidity. It is a breezy 78. I’m doing my best to spend as much time outside as possible. This morning, I got an email from my friend K, who hosts the drop-off point for our CSA. She said a couple of people never came to pick up their boxes, and did I want one? Well, that was a no-brainer. So I piled AJ and The Boy Across the Street and TBAS’s little sister into the car and we drove to K’s house — you can see a picture read about the delivery here. Afterwards I drove them to the large park with the nature center. TBAS and his sister had never been in the nature center before, so we started there. They ran around and looked at all the animals in the tanks and cages. TBAS was most fascinated by the bee hive with the plexiglass sides that lets you watch the bees doing what they do. His sister liked the ferrets and was naming all the animals in the place.

But the biggest hit with all of us was the butterfly house. We picked a spectacularly good day to go there. When we walked in, four monarchs were hanging onto their chrysalises, drying their wings. But in the few minutes we were in there, we got to see another one break out of its chrysalis and pump up its wings. I was completely fascinated and watched the whole process of the insect pumping fluid from its abdomen into its wings to inflate them and then releasing the excess liquid onto the ground below. The kids lost interest after a while. Their attention was caught by the faster moving button quail who run around the room and keep the insect population under control. After we’d seen enough inside, we headed outdoors, through the garden and down the hill to hike around the pond. The water lilies were in full bloom, as were many of the prairie plants that grow around the edge of the pond. We took a brief hike up another hill to the playground, but when a summer camp showed up, we went back to the pond and finished our circuit by hunting for frogs in the shade of the willow trees. On the way home we stopped for ice cream, because it was 11 a.m. and we could.

Now AJ is at football practice and I’m enjoying the quiet time to write. I’d better get back to it

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