I'll spare you the doggy doo photo. Seriously, I considered taking a before and after shot just to be funny. Someone I know calls it "poop lasagna," those lovely layers of ice, mud, and poop in the yard after a long winter. I really tried to keep up with it, and got out there as much as I could in between snowstorms. But our pups are prolific! I love how they come outside with me and watch me pick up after them. They look so innocent, like, "Who could have made this mess, Mommy?"
More pleasant work followed. The kids and I watered our trees, did a bit of pruning, picked a lot of rocks out of the "grass." (In quotes because it's not really grass; it's either crunchy brown stuff, or sparse dusty stuff at the moment.) The kids spotted a couple of honeybees on our grape hyacinth and a robin on the fence. They earned an ice cream outing, and I got a giant, ice cold Coke!
Then Dudeman suggested a hike. Because I wasn't tired enough from yardwork! Supersim said she wouldn't go without The Beast, so we "saddled" him up and took him for a hike. Even though he didn't deserve it--he tried to steal fish sticks off the kitchen counter on Friday and got into the garbage yesterday. (And many other days, apparently. I picked up a yogurt tub, a bread bag, and the plastic from a package of hot dogs in the yard!) But Supersim insisted it was his turn for a walk, so he got to yank my arm off for an hour and a half. I should probably go take a Tylenol while I'm thinking about it. At least he's useful for pulling me uphill.
Dudeman took his compass and binoculars. Supersim was in charge of the backpack, which held dog water, poop bags (just in case he deigned to eliminate somewhere other than our property), the camera, and whatever else she stuffed in there. I wasn't really paying attention when she packed up. So at one point, Beastie Boy is pulling me up the hill and the kids are trailing behind, and I turn around to say something to them, and I see that they both are holding umbrellas! "What in the world are you doing, kids?" "Oh," says Supersim, "I brought us some portable shade."
That's what I call planning ahead!
We saw a couple of hawks circling, and the kids tried to get a view through the binoculars, but it's hard to watch a moving target. We heard a lot of birds, but didn't see many. I'm sure the kids would say the coolest thing we saw was the deer bones, off the trail and behind someone's private fence. The same dog who barked at every bicycle and baby stroller didn't even seem aware of them (thankfully). Our Good Dog is next in line for a walk, so next time will be easier!