The Perfect End to a Wonderful Week

Our Sunday plan was to round out our vacation with a day at home, to let the kids rest while my husband and I worked cleaning out the basement. It did not last long. There are only so many sunny days of vacation, but there are endless days with bad weather for cleaning out the basement. The cleaning could wait.

We went to the most fitting place of all for us. Horicon Marsh.

IMG_6164It was beautiful, as always, and it was full of all sort of gorgeous flowers…

IMG_6176thistle is one of my favorites…

IMG_6185And just oodles of these beauties soaking up the sunlight.

The cattails were tall…

IMG_6167and swayed beautifully in the wind. It is a highlight of August I think.

The birds were what we’d expect: geese, pelicans, egrets, catbirds, wrens, and sparrows. Especially abundant, however, were the insects.

waspMy husband snapped this photo — I am not quite as brave as he is when it comes to our tempermental stinging friends. Unfortunately the viewing deck at at least 3nests, so we didn’t linger for long, but you have to admit these guys are pretty amazing to look at. In a photo. Far, far away from them in real life.

We continued onto a wooded trail…

IMG_6175where the morning’s dew was still present…

IMG_6171and dripped from the leaves and berries.

We found some bumblebees on the hunt for pollen… petting a beewho were nice enough to let us pet them.

Perhaps my favorite part of the hike, aside from being out in this amazing spot surrounded by so many wonders, was this…

IMG_6179This little trooper was coming down with my cold, but wanted to be a part of our last little vacation adventure. To make sure she had easy access to the tissues and water she needed, I grabbed this old fanny pack and made her an ‘adventure pack’. It easily held her tissues (and a spot for spent ones), water, and her little saber-toothed tiger, Smiley. Yes, her name is Smiley the Smilodon — no coincidence there! Toward the end of our little hike when my girl started getting a little tired, we poked Smiley’s head out so she could pet and snuggle her little friend. She was so happy.

The final leg of our journey took us along the road back to the parking lot and our car. My husband and son were ahead of us — my cane and I are always lagging behind a bit and my girl was right there with me this day. I stopped short and called my husband back — as he’s the creature wrangler in the family — when I spotted this guy…

IMG_6200A garter snake in the road. I applaud my husband for his careful handling even after being bitten (mouthed on, really) and peed on by this guy. It was the first time I’ve knowingly seen a snake in the wild that was blueing — part of the shedding process, 2 or 3 days before our snake sheds his eyes cloud over blue as part of the preparation for shedding. They can’t see very well during this time, so he was relatively easy to catch. And so beautiful to look at. My only regret is that I couldn’t also get his ruby red tongue photographed. He was really a gorgeous snake.

IMG_6201And the kids were equally excited to meet him! They observed that he was much smoother than their snake which could be due to his getting ready to shed. We don’t handle our snake during this time at home because we were told it’s uncomfortable for them and we should just let him be alone. With this in mind, we only handling this guy a moment before releasing him safely off the road. What an amazing — and fitting — end to our vacation!

2 responses to “The Perfect End to a Wonderful Week

    • I got her those because her super curls can’t be contained by barrettes any more. I have showed her about a million times how to wear the headband ‘normally’ but she insists on the Rambo look. Whatever works – I putting this battle in the ‘not worth it’ pile and just letting her do her thing lol!

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