Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spring Nature Table

For some ludicrous reason, every time we've done a seasonal table, it's been for winter. I meant to get the spring table done for the equinox last week, but with this, that, and the other, we didn't get around to it. We did it today while our friend Jack was here. Aleks made the sun and he and I picked out the items to go in it. I think it's very festive. Very springy.
I particularly like the rabbit, which is actually the evil man-eating rabbit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. We gave him a carrot though.

Sunday at the Botanical Gardens

Aleks has been asking to spend time with Jonas for ages. Finally, we were able to sync schedules. We attended a high-traffic Sunday afternoon at the Botanical Gardens. We usually go on Wednesdays and the like, when there is no one around. Sundays during the Orchid Show are unbelievable by comparison. Still a nice time, though. Spring is starting to show. Unfortunately, the Children's Garden doesn't open until April 1st, so none of my usual photos...

Nuts having been eaten.

The orchid show brings in a ton of people. And of course amazing orchids.

In Madagascar, Bastian and Lavinia showed their love for one another. I've always felt they resemble one another.
I love how the rock garden plants look similar to things that grow on coral reefs. It's like being underwater. In the desert.
Bastian peers in at the hedgehog, who is sleeping, as usual.
Upon entering the rainforest, we spotted this little guy on the path. He wouldn't move, so we lifted him with one of the laminated guides to place him on a nearby branch. We believe his wing was damaged, but still it seemed preferable than getting stepped on accidentally.

Aleks tries to identify orchids.
Then poses for me.

There is a butterfly release every day at 2:30 in the rainforest. The chrysalis are fascinating.
We particularly admire the gold one.

We pointed out to Jonas and Lavinia these plants that live high in the canopy and fill with rainwater. In a real rainforest, plants like these hold tadpoles of tree frogs. The animals in rainforests will stay in the level they are born in for their entire lives. It's amazing to think that frogs can be born and live forever high in the branches of trees.
When we exit, we must check the mirrors to make sure no one has butterflies attached to their clothing. In all our trips, we've not had this happen, but it's still fun to make sure, just in case.

Aleks' Skeleton

Aleks made a skeleton costume for himself. He documented the matter himself as well.

How I Loathe the Cleft Clinic

The Cleft Clinic is supposed to make our lives easier. In some ways, it does. Aleks gets his hearing tested every year to make sure his tubes are working correctly, which currently, they do not seem to be. He likes the games he plays with the audiologists.Bastian had to come this year, which normally he doesn't, but the time conflicted with Jon's seminar. I brought a bag full of stuff to do. I'm not always that forward-thinking. But sometimes I am. We bought some Where's Waldo books recently and Bastian loves 'em. We spent many minutes trying to locate Waldo, the Wizard Whitebeard, Wenda, Odlaw, and Woof and all their lost objects as well, plus the usual assorted extras. We had a really hard time locating Odlaw on this page. We were supposed to find his binoculars first in order to locate the correct Odlaw, but alas, in the time allotted, we had not yet found him.
I should bring activities for me to wait with. When I have a good book, I could wait for ages.

We moved rooms to see the other specialists. This is where it gets not so helpful. i spend ten months trying to get Aleks and expander, which we were told to get a year ago and he still doesn't have it, though we did finally get his molds made for it. We're waiting for the appliance to come back. The doctor says, when I bring up the intense and extensive hassle I have faced and the lack of assistance I received from his office, that it doesn't really matter because he needed those molars to come in anyway. Well, frankly, as someone who spent ten months on the phone, it does matter to me. Ah well.

We stared out the window while waiting.
At benches all in rows. Which are never all filled up.
We can see Lake Erie from here, on clear enough days. It was clear enough.
It occurred to me then that I'd had a nightmare once with this very angle in it. Now I have a photo to remind me. It's important to include the smokestacks. They were in the dream.
Being at the doctor is such a joy!
You can tell because Aleks' face spells it out as his ears are examined again and again by a variety of specialists.
We ate lunch at the Au Bon Pain there and then got to pet the volunteer dogs, though, so it wasn't all lost. I had never seen a chocolate colored Newfoundland before. These things are huge. I was first introduced when I went to Newfoundland as a teenager. I told the boys about the frigid Atlantic waters and the rescues that these dogs were used for.

Friday, March 26, 2010

First Spring Hike

After speech therapy, we headed to Shaker Lakes with our friend India and her sons, River and Ian. They'd never been on this hike, so Aleks and Bastian led the way.
The water was stagnant, full of moss and algae. Despite melted snow, there was not enough rain to saturate the stream fully for flowing.

Bastian took this photo of me.

There were blue jay feathers all over, though we found no blue jay. Poop too.
We also found a dead bat.
Who was busy being eaten by ants.
The same stone heart, we'd found before.

The deer came out too. It was late enough, but much brighter than when we saw them in the fall.
The lighting was better for photographing them thanks to the end of Daylight Savings Time.
Bastian watched them race past.