Sunshine and minnows

Well it is a glorious day in upstate NY so I decided to let the kids run themselves stupid while I did some yardwork. The kids helped…well that is a strong word…assisted in some of the tasks such as pick up sticks and wheel barrel dumping. I made it a game or else it would have never gotten done and when you own close to an acre of land and have no significant other yep kids help.

I trimmed all the unruly bushes, cut back the pricker bush yet again and racked out the flower beds. M1 picked up the dog poop she failed to pick up all winter, Little Bit picked up sticks and fed them to Mocha the dog while M2 and Little Man made trips up and down the hill to the compost pile. Not to worry I did not violate and child labor laws but they did have some fun and within an hour I had cleaned all I could clean without an iron rake. Did I mention the beaver took the small tree and wooden handle on my iron rake….yeah nature is great.

Well as inevitable something lands in the pond so down the hill to retrieve the ball from the pond. I grab a large stick (since my rake is now eaten) and fetch it out of the pond. I look into the pond and see the first real sign of Spring, the minnows. I show the kids and they are fascinated as the mass races from one end of the pond away from us to the other. Suddenly Mocha starts to dig and M1 calls to him. He is fervently digging and she asks why so I say “Oh probably the snake it lives near there” Well I am pretty sure that the neighbors 700 yards away hear her scream. Little Man of course was all over it and wanted to join the dog in the dig. I cautioned and said that while the snake was not poisonous it would hurt if he got bit so it was best to leave it alone. Both the boys looked disappointed but walked away.

We walked down by the river and looked to see if we could find the rake handle on the beaver dam just upstream. We were pretty sure we found our little tree but the handle must be an inside fixture. The kids felt the water and were shocked it was still cold and I pointed out how fast it was moving and how it is not safe right now to play in. They were disappointed but I assured them summer would come and there would be time in the river.

My backyard last summer. The purple tree you see on the left no longer exists thanks to the beaver.
My backyard last summer. The purple tree you see on the left no longer exists thanks to the beaver.

We picked up the rakes and trimmers and climbed back up the hill to the house. The kids were so excited that Spring was finally here and raced all over the yard of another two hours. I called them in at dinner time and they were all yawning they were so tired.  Yep fresh air is good for that. I looked them over and realized bath time was imminent. They had grass and stick tights in their hair and were all sweaty.

Good times and dirty fun definitely what childhood is all about.

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