When you're a 40 something single mother of a teen with lots of ambition, you find yourself in all kinds of interesting adventures and situations. Come back to laugh at us any time you feel the need, heaven knows where we'll be doing what next. Here you can expect a few words, a lot of images and hopefully ideas on what you can do for your next adventure.

If you're looking for something specific that we've done or a place that we've been, use the Search Box feature to search our blog.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Nest box: West Woodline 1 - Chickadees!

This family fledged a few weeks ago, but the pictures are too cute not to share. :) Here are the babies that grew up in my 'West Woodline Nestbox'.

Hmmm, sturdy - well crafted....

Great branch positioning above...

Honey! Come down here and take a look at this!

Chickadees start with lots of moss, leaving a 'cubby hole' in the back for the actual nest.

Here you can see they found some insulation and what looks like it could be Sammie's butt fur

I'm not sure who's fur that is in the back though

And finished off with some porucpine quills - the soft ones, that is

6 pretty little eggs snuggled up in the back

And six wiggly babies emerged

Umm - excuse me, if you aren't going to feed them can you please get out of the way?

Getting big fast! Pin feathers setting in!

Looking quite haggard now, I suppose I would too if I had to feed 6 mouths all day every day

Last shot before they left. Perfect little chickadee babies!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monkey's first day offshore... and the Bluefin Tuna they brought home

Some people can go offshore fishing for tuna every day of their life and never get one in the boat. My first trip out was on a whim, decided upon the night before, and they swore I would never make it through the day without getting sick. Not only did I persevere, but we caught the 325 pound bluefin on the fish I kissed for good luck. After tucking two more under my belt, I had my son and well - time gets tight when you're raising kids.

Monkey's father called to ask my opinion about taking him offshore now that he's turned 10. I agreed and was so excited for him I couldn't contain myself! I told him everything I could about fishing and what he needed to do, when he needed to do it and made sure he got plenty of sleep. He was picked up at 9:00 and off they went, and I settled in for a 'me' day puttering around the house. Around 2:00, I got a call "Mom, I can't talk but we're hooked up - I love you!". Click. About an hour later, I called them - I was dying! Was it a shark? Was it a tuna? What was happening? "Daddy just threw the harpoon into it". WHAT? Seriously? "Yep, I'll call you back". I started getting dressed - there was no way they weren't coming into the dock on my boy's first trip without getting pictures from the dock! "We'll be there around 5:00" was the next call - so would I!

85" long and about 300 pounds, the fish looked very similiar to the one we caught on my first trip. Needless to say, his father and I were both incredibly proud of our little fisherman - who had caught the bait that caught the big tuna. Now there are three of us dying to get offshore!

Here they come!

Monkey on the flybridge with Chuck

Oh, my big fisherman!

He said he was so nervous - there were a TON of people around

Family tradition

Oh, he looks so natural

The buyer just got done checking the quality - see the tail cutting? That's where they check for fat marbling - the more, the better..

Monkey watches the show - taking it all in. I'll tell you, he slept like a BABY that night!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Chronicling the Bluebird babies

I seriously thought my Bluebirds weren't coming back this year, but then - out of the blue - they arrived and slam-dunked a nest in the Juniper nestbox over the course of a weekend. Very tolerant of box-checking, I love how this couple follows me around the yard and sings to me (probably more like they are keeping tabs on me). This pair has had four broods in the yard over the past three years now, and I'm hoping they are up for round two!

Mr. & Mrs. B's favorite perching tree

The blew in around the end of May - this is day one

Three days later, a completed nest awaits

And three days after that (June 4th) we had two eggs. No wonder she was in such a hurry!

Four perfect little eggs, waiting to hatch

June 19th two naked bodies appeared - you'll notice the one to the bottom/left just hatched, he's still wet!

June 26th, you can see in their feathers the blue starting to shimmer

June 30th, our last box opening - pin feathers formed and you'll also notice the fourth egg to the left that never hatched. :(

Looking for a handout on July 4th

Mom and Dad tolerate me, but are very secretive. I was suprised to find that the babies fledged on the 8th of July with no warning. Now that's no way to treat your grammie! Boxes are cleaned out and ready, just in case. I swear I saw this couple 'playing' the other day...... maybe more to come!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Tree Swallow baby book

This is the first year that I've had Tree Swallows take an interest and actually nest in one of my nest boxes and needless to say, this birdie grammie didn't mind one bit. The were actually very willing to allow me to monitor their progress with no 'divebombing' until the bitter end. I suppose, if I had invested that much time into raising those little critters I wouldn't want anything bad to happen during the last week either!

They chose this box way back in May and started building their nest. The first egg was laid on June 1st, hatched 18 days later and fledged on the 7th - with the exception of one little guy who probably hatched late and left the nest on the 8th. I cleaned out their box last night, hoping to get a second brood out of someone!

I love this picture, the bluejay feather stuffed in the back tells me this bird has some interior decorating experience! Nest was completed somewhere around mid-May

Three eggs were there the morning of June 1st

Three days later, the total was 5 eggs

♥ Mom liked to keep the eggs surrounded with feathers - so cool

June 19th - if you look really hard, you'll see five little bodies in that mess

June 26th - we have pin feathers!

June 30 - by the looks of things, that's our last box opening to keep them from jumping out!


MOM! I'm hungry!

More! More! More!

Push over there piggy, I need something too!

July 6th - just about ready to go. This serious looking fledger finally left on the 7th, it was fun to watch them swooping over the yard. Hopefully they will be back next year for another round of babies! :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tassel Top Beach, Raymond

Tassel Top Beach conjures up visions for me that I probably shouldn't share here, but it really refers to the Pine Trees and their needles. It's a gem located off Roosevelt Trail on the Raymond / Windham town line on Sebago Lake. The beach is 900 feet long and in some spots contains enough room for several families to comfortly sit near each other, but in others barely enough beach for a few chairs between the tree line and the water. If you're lucky enough to sneak in early, follow the boardwalk north for some quiet spots that nestle among large rocks or south for some flatter spots with less beach space. I will admit that the beach fills quickly on warm weekends but the people aren't quite as rude as you find at Sebago Lake State Park. The swimming area is roped off to keep boats away and gradually slopes for the perfect spot for children to romp in the waves. Floats and boogie boards are welcome and the snack shack located on the premises allows the purchase of both.

Grammie G, the Monkey and I set out on Saturday morning and found a spot on the North end of the beach that was a little shady at first, but once the sun made it past the treeline we roasted on the coarse-sanded beach. We swam out to the ropeline several times and had an absolute blast - enough of one where I'm still sporting a bad sunburn from my lackadaisyness of applying sunscreen. Well worth the $6.00 it cost for a senior, a child and monkey in the middle tickets, this is a place you need to check out if you're in the area!

Here's a link to the Town of Raymond's site with general information and fees

In our quiet spot with a little too much shade at first

Catching some rays out on the lake

Boogie Boy

After we moved 10' down the beach

We shifted from that spot, thank goodness. Someone else can hide in the shade

Filling right up!

Don't feed the ducks!

One Senior, one adult and one child ticket - very festive for the 4th!


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