Monday, April 27, 2009

Our second family kayak trip. Kayaking has always been Dirk's hobby, something I thought I could tolerate and be with him while he enjoyed it. After 2 trips I think it's fun. It's relaxing and nothing happens very quickly so it's not very stressful. But anyway, we drove out to the Back Bay Wildlife Refuge and put in at the Horn Point Kayak Launch. We paddled to the left and hugged the coastline to Big Bend.

We saw giant carp everywhere. They were between 1 and 2 feet long and so active. We found them mostly in the shallows amongst the reeds. The reeds were amazing, they were about 5 or 6 feet tall and as the wind blew through them - they made music.

We also saw long nose gar - very prehistoric looking. Cece stood up to get a better look.

This turtle popped his head up for a moment, but then the carp circled and jumped him.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The maiden voyage of the blue banana. We took the inflatable kayak for our first family kayak trip on Saturday. To be honest, it was surprisingly uneventful. No one fell in and there were no meltdowns - a comlpete success in my book. Cece spent most of the trip lounging in the middle.

Dirk found this amazing website called Kayak Virginia Beach. This individual has completely catalogued all the local launch sites with tons of photos. After much reading, we chose to put in at Bennetts Creek Park in Sufflok, VA and the paddle out about an hour and a half. We left the beach at low tide, so we could see all of the fiddler crabs along the shoreline. We saw great blue herons and egrets. Here's an egret standing in the mud.

We also saw an osprey's nest. The female was in the nest, presumably protecting her eggs, and the male was circling to warn us.

Friday, April 17, 2009

We love papier mache. It is so neat to be able to create 3 dimensional objects out of just cardboard and masking tape. We even made a fourth creation, an apatosaurus for Cece's school play. Her teacher sent home a popsicle stick with the instructions to create a puppet. I am fairly certain that this is not what she had in mind but it was Cece's idea, not mine. Here's Cece feeding her apatosaurus some cilantro out on the sun porch.

Now it's time to paint all of the creations. Cece did most of the painting, but she did let me help just a little.

So, here's the crew. They have been painted and decorated with shells and jewels, justing waiting for more friends to join them.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Inspired by Middleburg, a great Etsy shop, we decided to create papier mache sculptures. After some research with Google, we found that there really aren't very specific instructions for creating sculptures. We decided to make our armatures (as some people call them) out of Q-tips, cottonballs, thin cardboard, toiletpaper tubes and lots and lots and lots of masking tape.

Cece decided to make a fairy and a princess and I made a mermaid. After our armatures were done, we set about to make the paste. I mixed about 3 cups of flour to an equal amount of water. What a mess, maybe next time we should do this in the garage.

After about 4 or 6 layers, our girls were done. The princess never got covered - but there's always next time. Now we just have to wait for them to dry.