Thursday, August 23, 2018

Nature Study - Baby Squirrels

Squirrels are one of the funnest things to watch in my yard.  We have four, one-hundred foot tall douglas fir trees and a huge maple, among other trees and a hazelnut stand in our back yard.  Which is a squirrel favorite this time of year because the hazelnuts are starting to ripen!
Recently, I was taking out the garbage when I saw a large squirrel with what looked like a pink mouse in her mouth.  I ran and got my camera and followed her from a distance.  Through my lens I saw that it was a baby!  Brand new from the total lack of fur.  She was taking it to our huge douglas fir tree in the front yard.  The kids and I sat and watched her for a while.  She brought two more babies over and one by one, and took them high up into the tree.

This morning, my daughter and I ran outside to what sounded like baby bunny screaming.  At the base of the fir tree was a healthy baby squirrel and two very interested cats.  We took the cats inside and watched as the mama squirrel came down the tree and picked the baby up and brought it back to the nest.  About 12 ft away we found two more babies.  One, sadly, had died from falling directly onto the paving stones when it fell from the nest.

The other baby was ok and as soon as we touched it, it started screaming.  So we placed it at the base of the tree, right where the first baby was and mama came right down and got it, even though we were standing about 5ft away.  
She came back down and watched as we checked on the dead baby and tried to see if there were any signs of life.  There wasn't.  The mama was agitated and chittering and watching us, so we laid the dead baby down at the foot of the tree and went inside.  When we came back out a few minutes later, the baby was gone.  I am guessing the mama brought it back up even though there was no hope of saving it.

We are all a little troubled by what may have knocked them out of the tree in the first place.  The nest is 30-40ft up.  It definitely wasn't our cats.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Steampunk Mocktail party

This was the most rushed party I have ever put on.  Set in the one day off between three different camps, this party was set up in two days.  In the end, although it was rushed, it was a super fun party and the girls make it all worth it!

My daughter wanted to throw a 'mocktail' party... in other words, she wanted a cocktail party but with no alcohol.  We set it at 7pm, just like any cocktail party, and prepped all kinds of non-alcoholic fun!

The tables were set with gears and globes.  

The bar was decked to the nines with fun things to mix up.

We dipped glasses in gold sugar, found at JoAnn's in the cake decorating section, and froze grapes and blueberries on sticks to imitate the olives in martinis.

The gear inspired donut wall was also a huge hit.  I got the old fashioned cake donuts dipped in chocolate because they look kind of like gears, don't they?


The cake was painted in gold with chocolate ganache and shaved chocolate on top.  I made the cake topper out of gears from the table scatter decor.  I really love how it turned out!

The biggest hit at the party though, was of course the amazing costumes the girls put together to enjoy the evening in!

The guests are always the best part of any of my kids parties.  These kids have been coming to my children's parties for a decade now and they know we go all out, so they do too!  They spend time getting decked to the nines and come ready to enjoy themselves and I just try not to disappoint.  We spent a couple hours playing games, eating food, and creating amazing mixed drinks in their gold-gilded goblets while sharing funny stories of their summer adventures.  These are the best moments.  The moments brought with these beautiful young people, while enjoying an environment of fun and adventure.

It was a fantastic time, celebrating an amazing girl!

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