Category Archives: fall

U of M Fall Raptor Release

Who doesn’t love eagles, hawks, kestrals and owls?  Birds (especially raptors) are fascinating and while we’ve been to different raptor centers, we’ve never watched a release of raptors back into the wild.  I figured we might as well go check it out and the kids seemed interested, so bonus points for that! Granted, the day started off a tad on the wrong foot when we didn’t leave the house as early as I wanted to.  We actually almost missed the first releases.  It was chilly and overcast, but the smell of fall was in the air and I was kind of glad it wasn’t warmer out because long walk carrying camera and a child would have made for a very sweaty and gross situation.  As it was, the field would not have been conducive for a stroller or a wagon so the kiddos had to walk through kind of tall grass. Due to our late arrival, we couldn’t get very close to the stage, but we were all still able to see the birds.  Now… pictures. The majority were a tad blurry.  I had my biggest lens zoomed in almost all the way, it was cold out and I had a child sitting on my feet for part of the time.  Ha ha.


It was very cool to see two hawks, a kestral and a young bald eagle being released, though.  To watch them take flight was just so awesome and when the first hawk was released, a bunch of turkey vultures showed up overhead and it was a big celebration.


I’m not super bummed about the blurry photos… these kinds of things are best experienced in person anyway.


After the release, we went to see some of the other raptors that they had outside… ones that would not be released for various reasons and now help educate people.


I love owls.  I’m hoping to go out on an adventure by myself this winter in search of owls.  Since it’s a few hours drive north, I figure it’ll be a good time for the kids to stay home with Josh since they get a tad fussy when it’s cold out.  We see owls now and then where we are, but I’m heading north to find Great Grey Owls.


Those eyes!!

Okay, and this little guy was just too adorable.  Had he not been attached to that guy, I would have wanted to stick him in my bag and take him home.


And of course, the magnificent and ever so regal Bald Eagle. Amazing birds.



I’ll save our Apple Orchard visit for another day. 😉

Every year it’s the same…

Can I just hold onto fall for just a little bit longer?  We had our first snow flurries yesterday and I am really just not ready for that kind of cold wind to become just another daily occurrence even though it happens every year and we should just be used to it already.  One thing is for certain, we’re getting a snowblower this year.  If anything, that will ensure that we don’t get nearly as much snow as usual.  Neither of us feel like shoveling several feet of snow in sub-zero temps this year, though.

So, in the spirit of not giving in to winter, here are some fall pictures I haven’t posted yet.


Sure, there will be more of this in the upcoming months, the blanket just might be heavier and hopefully the nuk will be gone… her teeth are being affected and we’re going to have to lose the nuk.


Painting punkins!  Really, we’ll paint anything in our house.  Enzo has always been really good about keeping crayons, markers, paints, etc on actual paper or specified places, but you can’t leave Phoebe alone for a second.  It is imperative to only have washable art supplies in her reach because she will make art wherever she feels like it, and especially if she feels like she’s taking a stand against “The Man” aka Mom and Dad who like suppress her artistic expression.


We’ll see if Phoebe changes her mind about the cold and snow, but even if she doesn’t, Enzo will want to go outside and play.  I’m thinking maybe we’ll get some food coloring and make some art in the snow to mix it up a bit.  It’s fun using different seasonal mediums with the kids.


Okay, maybe winter won’t be thaaaat bad.  We’ll see.

So Long, Fall!

There is a chill in the air and after several days of unusual November rain, we are about to get much cooler, so now seems as good a time as any to soak up the last of Fall.  Last year it took a little time for Enzo to warm up to the idea of playing in the giant leaf pile Josh’s Dad prepares for all the kiddos.  This time, though, he ran right into it and his cheeks were already getting rosy by the time his cousins came to join in on the fun.  This boy runs hot, that’s for sure.


Phoebe, on the other hand, is like me and wasn’t too thrilled at the idea of playing in cold leaves.  She was more content to sit and eat her snack, but eventually we managed to get her to at least sort of join in.  I can’t blame her, I’d rather sit on the sidelines and just watch too.  I kind of don’t want to tell her what’s in store considering she whines when it’s cold out at day care and they go outside to play.



If you’re Enzo, however, the highlight of a giant leaf pile is being tossed into it. I have a feeling if his thrill seeking continues, I’m going to lose just as much sleep in the years to come as I do now.  I guess it makes sense, though… kids aren’t aware of all the dangers and worries that adults consider, so why should being tossed 6 feet in the air into a pile of leaves be at all disconcerting? Granted, even bloody noses and other bumps and bruises don’t stop him from jumping off things he shouldn’t and fearlessly climbing whatever he can.




While we’ll need to keep Enzo’s active side busy this winter, we’ll have to come up with a combination of inside and outside activities considering Phoebe isn’t a fan of being cold and wet.  I loved sledding when we were kids and building snow forts, so hopefully we can do some of that with the kids and find other activities now that they’re older and not quite as affected by a late night here or there and an occasional missed nap.  Last winter was a bit of a bummer, especially after we got back from a nice warm vacation in California, so I plan on making it as fun as possible this year.


If anyone has any tips on winter activities with small kiddos, do let me know!