fossil finds

Put a bird on it

Two blog posts in one month?? Someone alert the authorities!

Earlier this month Greta and I participated in RIT's 2012 Big Shot. Although it was definitely past Greta's bedtime on a school night, I couldn't resist bringing her to the help make history at her favorite place: Seabreeze. There was a bit lost in translation and she was bent out of shape that she was "not even in the picture" and that she couldn't ride the rides, but she'll appreciate it someday...maybe...I hope. Here is more info about this year's Big Shot, and here is the end result. We help light the flume ride!

I'm slightly obsessed with a heron cam at Sapsucker Woods and Cornell's Lab of Ornithology. We went out to see the heron nest about a month ago, before the eggs hatched, and it was fairly anticlimactic yet exciting, if that makes any sense. We really didn't see much except the dad heron bring a few sticks to the mom heron. At this point there are five heron chicks that are basically teenagers, so on Saturday we headed back to check on them. I wasn't expecting a whole lot, but we were able to clearly see the chicks from a telescope from the lab, and we were also able to see the dad hunting at a far edge of the pond. Pat and Greta were inside the lab, and I decided to head out by myself. I was absolutely shocked when I walked out to this little area next to the pond and the mom heron was 15 feet in front of me. We had a lovely, uninterrupted couple minutes of quality time, and I was so honored by her presence.

Here she is. I'm said to say I didn't bring my SLR this trip, so this is what I could do with my camera phone.

Here she flew off to the nest to regurgitate some fish for the chicks.

Greta was pretty lukewarm about the whole heron thing last time, but this time I dare say she embraced it.

Greta is the hippest six-year-old I know, but occasionally she lets her nerd flag fly. Binoculars: check. Camera: check. Woot T-shirt: check.

After the trip to the woods we went on a hike at Buttermilk Falls. We had a fantastic time hiking, wading in the water, and all three of us even found fossils!

Don't mind the fact that Greta's bathing suit is basically flesh colored. It was neon yellow when we bought it before our New Orleans trip, but after the RIT pools every week and subsequent washings it has become a lovely shade of jaundice.

After Buttermilk Falls, we went to Moosewood for dinner and walked around the Commons a bit.

We had such a wonderful Saturday we had to punish ourselves by doing several hours of yard work on Sunday.

That's a lotta mulch...and dirt.

In case you're wondering where the blog post title came from, it's a reference to one of my recent favorite shows on TV, Portlandia. Put. A. Bird. On. It.


Try to try

Sooo, hi.

Here are some things you should know.

I work ALL THE TIME, or at least it feels that way.

Pat might work even more than I do, but it's a close race. A very uncool, close race.

We manage to have a lot of fun despite our workaholic tendencies.

We've been to Letchworth (aka, the Grand Canyon of the East) a couple times this summer. Greta is Little Miss Hiker Girl.

My one silent requirement I never actually announce but that my family just understands is that wherever we go I will blow them off at some point to spend some quality time with rocks. I haven't found any notable fossils lately, but I've found some pretty cool ones, and I'm excited to announce Greta found her first legit fossil rather than a number of rocks that are eroded to sort of look like heart-shaped rocks (which she calls fossils). The one she found was some sort of horn coral embedded in some, um, regular ol' rock.

Greta asked me why I like rocks so much, and I don't know what it is. They just make me happy. I can look at this picture from the lower falls at Letchworth and I feel calmer.

On the nature theme, when we moved into our house there was a dead weeping cherry tree in the front. I am horribly indecisive, and we went to a bunch of places and all of the trees were just so...meh. We went to Oriental Garden Supply and I fell in love. It's such a great place and there is such an amazing selection of really wonderful, different trees, shrubs, and plants. We ended up getting a weeping larch for one side of the turret. For the opposite side we got a contorted filbert. I feel like our yard and sort of coming together. In a very exciting development, this summer I finally realized I enjoy weeding. I always hated it, and no I will not come to your house and weed. We have plenty of weeds here to keep me busy. But I actually enjoy weeding now! It's oddly relaxing! Who knew this?

Here's our new weeping larch.

I've had quite a few culinary hits and misses in the last few weeks. I definitely have enough for another blog. And I promise I will try to try to post another one soon. And yes, I said I'd would try to try.

One last thing I want to mention is I saw a great news story last week about this five-year-old boy who came up with the idea to sell artwork to raise money for multiple sclerosis, the disease his mom suffers from. Connor Grossman is from Rochester, but the story is making national headlines. I will just say I think you should watch this video and check out the Marbles for MS site and consider donating to this worthy cause.

Okie doke, I think that's enough for now.


Are you happy to see me or are you just happy to see me?

I've been meaning to update for ages, if no other reason so that when my mom comes to the site she doesn't have to see that awful "...or are you just happy to see me" joke. Oh well. Things have been busy again, but what's new? I sound like a broken record.

Things have been good. A couple weeks ago we went out to Pat's parents' camp, and we all had a great time. There is such a nice community out there, and I love hanging out with the Reeds, drinking beer, eating hamburgers, sitting by the fire, and catching up. Also, Pat's dad always has some great stories that start like, "Did I ever tell you about John Prell, the punch-drunk fighter who burned his meat?" (That one was so good I had to write it down.)

Greta got to fish with her grandpa, and unlike last year, when she quickly caught three fish, this time the fish were just stealing her worms.

No fishies.

The highlight for me was I was reading my book, Remarkable Creatures, and Greta asked me what it was about. I told her it's about fossils, and then I told her a little about fossils. Greta got all jazzed up about looking for fossils. I figured we'd poke around a bit and not find anything, but we actually found some good fossils. (Well, I found part of a trilobite, Pat found part of what I think is some coral, and Greta found a bunch of rocks she thought were pretty). It rekindled my fascination with fossils that started in high school, and now I can't stop thinking about them.

I loved how focused on finding fossils Greta was.

Last weekend we went to Hamlin Beach, and the first rock I picked up and turned over was a fossil. It looks like some sort of wormy larva dude (technical term). I then proceeded to pick up probably three hundred more rocks and got nothin'.

Also last weekend we went to a fantastic wedding reception. My friend Dottie (who won the honor of Favorite New Friend of 2009 [Yes, I give out superlatives like these in my head. Sorry if we met in 2009 and you did not win. I'm sure it was an honor for you just to be nominated.]) and her husband Bryce were married in Italy la few weeks ago, and they had the most beautiful reception that was made out of fancy. Look how handsome we all are. The fancy even rubbed off on us.

Well, almost.

And now we're almost caught up. So, this Saturday we realized we had nothing really going on, so we decided to take a day trip to Ithaca to go fossil hunting, hiking, hang out in the Commons, and eat at Moosewood. It was a beautiful day as we drove the almost two hours. Then when we got to Taughannock Falls and stepped out of the car, it started sprinkling. By the time we got to the first small set of falls, it was full-blown raining. By the time we got a bit down the first trail, it was pouring. We tried to stick it out for a half hour or so, but it was MISERABLE and we decided to retreat. By the time we got back to the car, we were all drenched to our skivvies. Bust.

And then we went to Moosewood, my favorite restaurant. Surely the meal would revive this otherwise crappy day, but we had our first mediocre meal there. Disappointment.

But with all the bad, it was oddly good. Even though we all had fits of grumpiness (well, Greta and I did at least), we also had ridiculous fits of laughter that was directly related to the rain and being soaked.

Also, we found out Greta is a harmonica prodigy. The rain must have been her muse.

In conclusion, this is too long. Sorry.


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