Some September Highlights…

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Benjamin and I have been trying to spend lots of time outside now that the weather is not as hot, the humidity is lower, and the mosquitos have mostly disappeared. I’m a bundle of anxiety about mosquito-borne illnesses since we’ve had a couple of deaths from encephalitis in the area this summer and lathering Benjamin up with Burt’s Bee’s bug repellant gives him a weird herbal smell all day that I’m not sorry to say goodbye to.

On lazy days when we don’t want to go anywhere we just set up on the back porch and collect pine cones, look for spiders, play with bubbles, draw with chalk, and most recently paint with watercolors. Here are some pictures from Little Bear’s first watercolor experience:

It started out pretty well...

but promptly took an unconventional turn as Bear started painting the cement...

The whole "dip-the-brush-in-the-water-then-the-paint" seemed inefficient so Bear went straight to the source...

Our very fastidious Bear was concerned about the consequence of his method...

When I asked him if he wanted the brush again, he explained that he was "fingapainting." Fair enough, Bear.

On more adventurous days we go to see the “aminals” at the Tallahassee Museum. Benjamin LOVES this place. There’s a old-timey farm section with cows, pigs, geese, sheep, goats, turkeys, and chickens and then a natural habitat trail with birds, otters, red wolves, bobcats, a panther, skunks, grey foxes, a bear, and alligators. I always want to take out-of-town guests there because the place just screams “Florida” to me. Real Florida, not Disneyworld Florida or Miami Florida. We just had my phone when we were there the other day so here are some iphone pics:

Much of the trail is made of wooden boardwalks over the water. It’s beautiful and it helpfully corrals my little man as he runs around looking for animals.

Mysterious swamps with cypress knees make this Florida girl’s heart go pitter-patter.

Can’t you just imagine Hernando DeSoto and his companions canoeing past on their way to pillage Indian settlements and exploit the native peoples? Maybe you prefer not to…fair enough.

This is Benjamin trying to hurry me up so we can go see the Bear. Not sure why he gets so excited about the Bear since every time we’ve gone it’s sleeping soundly in the back corner of the habitat…

I’ve been thinking for the past three weeks: “Next week it’ll feel like Fall,” but Autumn hasn’t arrived yet. I’ve tried making hot meals and wearing sweaters but it remains elusive. We have a big pumpkin from our CSA this week that I’m planning to cook for dinner and maybe that’ll do the trick.

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