The last time I visited the BYU duck pond, there seemed to be a mess of construction further up the hill, and the other day I found out what they had been doing there. BYU now has a river walk, nicely sculpted and landscaped and with little 'waterfalls', dotted with picnic areas and brightened with flowers. The pond is still down on 800 N (though I didn't get a really close look at its current state) but some of the ducks seem to have moved up to the new 'river' winding around the hill. These adolescent ducks appear to enjoy their new home.
It is fun to see my nieces. It is even more fun to see my parents being charmed by my nieces (their granddaughters). I recall a picture of me at about this age, sitting on my own grandpa's lap. He was reading me a book, and this time Dad is playing youtube videos, but the generation connection is still similar.
Also it is fun to see my nieces playing together. The Crocodile Collection is always popular (lots of different reptile toys at my house!) as is the dress-up closet (source of the 'princess headdress' that I bought at a Renaissance fair some 20+ years ago...)
The other night several of us got together and my brother made omelets- each to order. They were very good-- it was probably all the butter and cheese, yum!-- and though it took awhile to get through dinner (due to the short order cooking) we had a great time talking, with each other and the chef himself.
I took quite a few pictures of my brother, his wife and daughter. We had some sun squints because of the setting, but I like these two. After our photo shoot, we discovered that the log could act as a giant teeter-totter, and my niece really enjoyed bouncing up and down....
The other night we had a family gathering up the canyon-- first one of the year. It was a bit cool, so we built a fire (that smoked a lot, but it did keep Dad warm) and we had a picnic and visited. The kids enjoyed the bridge (high enough to be safe from the swift, deep river) and it was a glorious evening.
As I drove up Provo canyon this morning, the mist and snow turned the mountains into a misty wonderland. It was very green but the clouds were thick and just above the road the snow was beginning to stick... definitely not typical for late May.
We didn't have as much time in Goblin Valley as we would have liked,
but the kids definitely enjoyed climbing on the rocks. Ethan and Benjamin wanted to go off and do their own thing, and Sophie was feeling a bit left out, so I went around with her and we discovered goblin houses. It's a terrific place for the imagination.
We had hoped to camp in Goblin Valley, but even on a weekday, the campground was full. So we found a nice nearby BLM spot. The kids were pretty good about BLM camping-- careful with their litter, and not too many complaints about the lack of bathrooms. I even trained them to retrieve their used toilet paper (and I was expecting a fight about that one, but they were good.)
We had fun hanging out in the tent (thanks again, Dad, for that tent!!)
Benjamin also built us a nice fire, with firewood we bought at Goblin Valley state park. We had forgotten the roasting sticks, but we improvised with forks. Everyone liked the s'mores. Especially Sophie.
Yes, the way to get this girl happy is to put her in a sandbox... or take her hiking up Little Wild Horse slot canyon. She was a pretty good hiker. Of course we only went about 3 miles total of the 8.5 mile loop, and we took several hours, and stopped a lot to play. I figured, why press things? Quit while you're ahead, then everybody has a good time. Especially with kids. She was tired the last half mile or so, and I had to bribe her with candy. But though there were some moans of 'I'm tired,' there were no tantrums or tears, so I got off lucky. Even Ethan didn't complain too much (though his feet were wet and sandy from the puddles.) They all did very well.
I am a keen amateur photographer, an avid traveler, a dedicated researcher. My main area of interest is the European middle ages although I like history and culture, especially social history, of all eras and regions. I am especially fond of good architecture and I am really, really fond of reptiles.
I usually post this blog to share highlights from my travels with family and friends. If you are a potential friend wandering by, you are welcome; any of my art or nature images posted here are available for non profit personal or study use, and if reproduced I ask that I be credited as photographer.