back yard in bloom, early in the month

Even when I don’t post, be assured there is always something happening in my world. Yours too, I’m sure! Among other things, we’ve re-visited Hopkins Demonstration Forest, rehearsed for the ballet recital, went camping, strolled the waterfront, did homework, and spotted fun stuff around town. Here are a few glimpses of our month of May.

Our group leader doles out equipment and instructions to the students

Even with two 8th graders, it was hard to extract a plug from the tree

sketching in her notebook

I chaperoned the 8thgrade science field trip to Hopkins Demonstration Forest last fall. The class graciously invited me to attend the spring trip as well. It was interesting to see the same forest in a different season, and to learn new forest management skills. In the fall we learned about soil types and erosion. This time we focused on measuring, identifying, and sampling trees.

snail

The kids at Harrison Park are a good group, and respond politely to urges to get them to notice the world around them. They were eager to use the auger and pull a plug of wood from a tree, or sketch plants into a notebook. They happily traipsed along the trails, discovering woodpecker holes and snails, and christening the “sticky plant” so named because if you break a branch and throw it on someone, it sticks.

get a load of this curiosity, parked at Stark Street Pizza

trying out some new dance gear

My ballerina is excited about her upcoming show the second weekend in June. It’s a presentation from the Laurelhurst studio within Portland Parks and Recreation. All of the dances are from adults except one, in which the kids dance to an inspiring arrangement from Black Violin. Tara is somewhat disappointed in their costumes because they are silly and cute and do not match the music, nor do they look like something ballerinas would wear. She has resigned herself to the thought that perhaps it is because she is in the kids group, and perhaps it was the costume designer’s idea all along to make it cute. Until then, she practices in her own gear, decidedly more elegant.

We calculated that Memorial Day weekend was her last opportunity to go camping with me before heading off to California for the summer. She wanted to go so badly that she begged me to continue with our plans even though the weekend forecast was for more rain. So we went off to our spot along Zig Zag Creek, at the base of Mt. Hood. It’s only an hour away, and free, and close to water.

doubly-protected from the rain

orchids

We lucked out because it did not rain at all Saturday evening. The entire place was soaked, and soaked good, however. We babysat the fire for a full hour before it condescended to burn on its own. Our hair filled with smoke as we hovered close to the flames talking, eating, and giggling.

Despite the relatively dry evening, I took no chances and attached the tent’s rain flap as well as an additional tarp over that. It was a good call. The steady rain began in the night and continued all through the morning. We stayed snug as bugs inside.

The next morning we climbed around rocks at the river, discovered clusters of wild purple orchids, and got cold. So we packed up camp and continually deposited handfuls of trash into the bag designated for it. Every time we stay here we find bucketloads of trash all over the site, in the fire pit, in the river, crammed into tree trunks. Ugh, people.

"Mom, can you give the camera a rest?"

My girl is feeling some pressure at school to get a bunch of work done all at once. The teachers have realized they are running out of time, and have piled on the end of year projects. Her toolbox is filled with excellent reading skills and eager creativity, so that does help. She would still rather be at the damp park nearby than at the kitchen table working on stuff for school. That proves she’s a normal kid. And a normal person! I remember those days too, and I haven’t told her that this 8thgrade experience is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to end-of-term workload.

view of the east bank of the Willamette in the setting sun

don't you have a sumo wrestler on YOUR bike?

T asked me to make biscuits with bacon and cheese baked in. Yummo!

wooden crab on a concrete post

typical Portland dude

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