Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer Fun: Baby Birds, The Peas are Ready, and Rodeo Time!

My new favorite season is definitely summer... All my life I have been a fall girl, but I have officially converted.  There is so much that we have done, and so much more to do... in so little time.  I can't even keep up!

The Nest
Our summer officially started with the new bird family that built their nest on the flood lights right outside our kitchen window.  It was truly amazing to have watched all of this take place.  This bird was bound and determined to build this nest at our house.  It started on a different set of lights outside our bedroom, but after a long day's work, the nest was blown off by strong winds.  Again, the next night, she rebuilt it stronger than before in the same place, and to her dismay...blown away....again...
When she moved to the new light outside the kitchen, she got really serious and brought what seemed like every twig, string, scrap, etc. from the whole neighborhood, and that thing was not going anywhere.
We were thrilled by the new friend that wanted to live with us, and we watched....
A couple weeks went by and she always seemed to be there, sitting loyally in her nest.  There had to be eggs in there!   Wasn't long until we heard the chirping of 5 baby birds in that little nest!

Then she worked like no mother I have ever seen for probably 10 days or more.  I had never thought about how much work it would be to feed 5 babies.  Luckily the father bird surfaced to help her.  Both of them were scouring the nearby land for worms and flying them back, then again, and again, switching off all day long.  And we could see the babies growing rapidly.  I was amazed that they grew so fast, and then all of a sudden we would see one start to get brave and inch toward the side...  Slowly but surely, they each left the nest.  And it was so wild, there was one baby left in the nest, and it was chirping like it was all alone!  Then, when we looked out into the big piece of land behind the backyard, we saw the mom and the dad and a couple smaller birds all chirping towards the nest, as if to say, "Come on- Everyone's waiting on YOU".  Of course, I felt for the slow bird ;)
Next time we checked, he had apparently made it out, and that was that!  So interesting- and Kaitlyn loved it- She would always Shhhhh Gunther if he barked, reprimanding him "The BIRDIES are SLEEPING- Be QUIET!"  

So, I don't know if I added on here that we have a huge garden in the backyard from the previous owners, and we thought it would be fun to plant some things this summer, and see how it goes!  So the first weekend in June, we got it done!  Onions, garlic, sweet bell peppers, potatoes, carrots, peas, sugar snap peas, and green beans!
It's been a lot of work, but very interesting and rewarding at the same time.  Especially now that we are seeing everything in action.  All of a sudden, one of our pea bushes was ready the other day.  It was like one day there were a couple pods, and then the next, a whole bush full!

 Here's pics below- So fun for Kaitlyn (...and us)!

Rodeo's in Town!
The Gallatin County Fair and Ranch Rodeo was in town last weekend, so we went to check it out with our friends we met out here that are from Marietta.  It was a fun time!  Kaitlyn and Bridger rode rides together, had ice cream, and we experienced our first rodeo.  The first event was roping and branding calves, so hopefully Kaitlyn wasn't traumatized.  I think she just liked seeing all the horses and the real cowboys! Here's some pics...

Busy summer!
The most exciting things for us this summer have been some quality family time and visits!  Late June we had my Mom, Jenny, Shelby and Julie come out.  Then over the 4th, we had Justin's parents and brother Sean. We had two amazing trips to Yellowstone, hiking, pool time, and great weather!  I'll have to do another post all about those adventures once I get my pics organized!  Then, Justin has gotten some great pics on fishing excursions that I'm sure he'll want to post about, so stay tuned!
Hope everyone is enjoying their summer as well- we've still got a little left, so let's keep playing!  :)
-The Hills