We went camping for a few days last week – nearby; no big distant trips for us this summer – and Julia spotted this little guy while she and Alex were walking back from the port-a-johns. Alex carried it back to our camp site and Bill identified it as an Eastern Box Turtle, which is actually a tortoise – a land animal – so it has claws instead of flippers.
Here’s a not-so-great head-on shot. But you can see the front foot there – definitely not a swimmer!
While camping the kids also spotted chipmunks and a deer, but we see those from time to time anyway, so they weren’t as exciting as the tortoise.
The kids wanted to feed it, so they offered a couple of the yellow pear tomatoes we’d brought along, but it wasn’t interested. (Probably because they eat bugs and other protein-packed critters, not salads as much.)
That’s Julia, standing guard, or just hovering, depending on your point of view.
On the last full day of our trip Julia spotted this gorgeous caterpillar and Bill and the kids brought it to the tent where I was so I could get a picture.
We’re pretty sure it’s a luna moth caterpillar. Pretty cool, huh?
Besides looking at cool creatures, we went catfishing one night. Didn’t catch anything, but I got some pictures…
Catfishing’s not the most exciting of fishing styles. You put some raw chicken liver on the hook, cast it out carefully (so the liver doesn’t come loose) and wait. And wait. And wait.
Sometimes, if you are in need of entertainment or distraction from the mosquitos, your son will sing an aria in his rather impressive (for a ten-year-old non-singer) opera voice, complete with vibrato. I believe he was singing the final lines of “Nessun Dorma” from Turandot. Unfortunately, he did not vincero where catfish were concerned.
Julia, meanwhile, kept whispering to me that she didn’t want to fish any more. I took blurry pictures of her while she made faces and posed.
She was quite happy when Captain Daddy decided it was time to go back to the site and make s’mores.
Oh! And one other thing from our trip – we brought along our newest cooking toy – a cast iron waffle iron.
We used it on the little camp stove rather than in the fire pit because we could keep it level. It worked great, and waffles on a camping trip (after a night of torrential rain and howling wind and a deflating air mattress and eventual drips of rain through the rain fly and tent) made our first morning quite special.
Opera boy was happy.
Oh! And one other little bit of genius this trip – we really like our coffee in the morning. OUR coffee. From OUR coffee pot. Which, of course, is electric and doesn’t work in the woods.
We have never been good at (or keen on) cooking coffee while camping, so this time we made a big pot of coffee before leaving the house, stored it in a jar, and reheated it each morning as needed.
Or added iced when the afternoon heat was getting to us.
(Well, me, really. Bill’s not as big an iced coffee drinker as I am. And I almost wrote “Bill’s not as keen on iced coffee…” and realized I’d just used “keen” in the previous paragraph. And I rarely say or write “keen” most of the time, so why is it trying to insinuate itself into my writing today? Words can be pushy sometimes.)
Anyway, those are some of the bits and pieces from our camping trip.
I’ve got other stuff to write about, but that will have to wait til later, as I’ve got laundry to hang out now.
Do you go camping? See any interesting creatures lately? Are you keen to share your stories about them? Aaaaaaaaaaaak! There’s that word again!