Caterpillar Time

From Drop Box
This is the perennial, Butterfly Weed.  I've heard a caterpillar can live it's whole life on it. Our plant is right outside our basement living room window.  We can see the undersides of leaves and go undetected from the little critters.

From Drop Box
Here is our biggest caterpillar (they are all monarchs). They range from tiny to medium, big, larger and largest.  I wonder if it'll be only a few days till the largest turns into a cocoon?  We'll wait and see.
Meanwhile I've been talking caterpillars with friends and my good friend, Jenn called with news that they found swallowtail caterpillars on their carrots!  They pulled them off and their kids, Ella & Claire have been watching them in a fish bowl.  So after we said our good-byes off we went to look at our carrots.

From Drop Box
This is all we found (actually many more carrots we haven't dug yet).  A little disappointing until Jenn texted they can wipe out the host plants if you aren't careful.  Now Claire and Ella will have caterpillar hunting chores.  A fun chore I'd say.  How about you, have you seen any caterpillars?

summer is...

hanging with family

playing with water

trying new things

cool treats
playing with friends

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The modern/vintage feel

Here's the new look. Our "new" vintage couch.
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Lamberton Triathlon

Another year of racing in the Lamberton Triathlon.  Team Nickel succeeds.  This year we were not as ambitious and created two teams while Troy did individual race compared to last year, the big kids formed a team and the 6 adults each competed indiviually.  Maybe next year we can shoot for individual races again.

As you can see the little kids and Grandma and Grandpa were big supporters once again.  Thank you!

If you are interested in trying a triathlon the Lamberton Tri is a great race to start with a 2 1/2 mile run, 9 mile bike and 200 yard swim.  Entry fee was $3 per team or individual racer.  So get those running shoes, bike & goggles and start training for next year (ok, wait for next May to start, you'll be fine).

Vacation- Part Two, Bemidji State Park

Upon talking to the locals about our camping plans for the rest of the week, we got the feeling we should check out Bemidji State Park since it was only a 20 minute drive.   We arrived and drove through to pick our site.  We lucked out with a great wooded, private sight.

We borrowed this great pop-up camper from Sue and Steve Hansen (Thank you!) and it suited us well.  Comfy beds, storage for clothes, food, and all the camping goods.

So we began our weekly schedule:
wake (8ish, what a treat!)
make breakfast
hike, swim, or just hang out
hike, swim, or just hang out
hike or bonfire
settle down (took about 1 hour each night)

What a good time.  At Bemidji we enjoyed the Bog Walk, trails, and beach.  Sarah (Keir's cousin) & Seth along with Tessa, Isaiah and Micah came for a visit one evening for supper, smores, and Bog walk.  Thanks for filling us in on all the local trees, plants (esp. poison ivy all around our camp) and just getting to know you better!  You guys are great.  We truly enjoyed out time with you.


Vacation- Part One, Family Reunions

I believe I said this two years ago, but I really never thought I'd look forward to and enjoy family reunions (esp. those of my husband's family).  But again, the Hood family reunion was the exception.  Thank you to Mary & Jim Hood for so graciously hosting and allowing us to set up the camper on your farm for the weekend.  It was a great home for those three nights and we were sad to leave.

We enjoyed all the festivities and visiting with relatives from all over (Bemidji, Cities, Michigan, Illinois, Utah, & Wisconsin).  The picture above is the young two generations (not included is the older 2).  So there were a lot of kids there.  Griffin & Eme made some great friends.  I enjoyed being able to socialize & sit around the fire while my kids slept a hundred feet away.  I'm also proud to say I finally made the family tree in my mind and know where everyone belongs.

After all the hoop-la was over and most went home, we stayed one more night.  That night, Mary Hood (there were 4 Marys there) brought us through the woods to their daughter's houses (one on each side, less than a mile away) and the deer shack.  We all enjoyed the four-wheeler rides and wish we would have gotten a picture of the kids in the car seats on the back.  When we started to go fast, I looked back at Eme and she looked a bit hesitant, but upon giving her a smile, she quickly decided it was fun.  On that ride we saw deer and the beautiful northern MN woods.

Sarah also suited up Dandy for a cart ride.  The kids were thrilled (and me too).


Ride On, but we'll hold our breath while you do

Watching our son do this at Itasca State Park made us hold our breath.