A sudden gradual change of seasons

Autumn always sneaks up on me.

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Back to school sales start when the temps are still in the 90s. The thought of wearing leather, or wool, or flannel is laughable. The sun sets a little earlier, but not so early as to impact my day. And the trees might start to take on a little more color, but I’m never really sure whether it’s because fall is coming, or that we just went six weeks without rain.

*Seattlites don’t really want outsiders to know that it rarely rains here in August and September, so shhhh…. let’s just keep this between us.

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We live on a little lake, populated by ducks year round. Theses ducks are a part of our landscape, any time of year. In the spring, they’re accompanied by ducklings, following their mama around the lake, until one day I notice that mama duck is accompanied by smaller ducks. By the time fall comes around, I can no longer distinguish the parents from their offspring.

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The trees around the lake are just starting to show a hint of red and gold. The color change happens gradually, but I never experience it that way. One morning, in the not too distant future, I will look out over a brightly colored landscape and wonder when this transformation occurred.

It happens this way every year.

Just as every few months I look at my daughter and wonder when did she get so big, but she was maturing right under my nose all along.

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Feeding the birds

Our favorite activity at the Woodland Park Zoo is the bird feeding room. $1 for a stick of birdseed translates to more than your money’s worth in little girl giggles.

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So far, we have not been able to get our act together and get to the right place and time to feed the giraffes Рor the elephants.  I have a feeling that might even eclipse feeding the birds.

I’m trying very hard to focus on the fun and adventure right in front of me and not let myself get jealous of everyone heading off to BlogHer, or my husband’s adventure to Istanbul.

Some day…

Monday morning, from 10 to 11

Monday morning, from 10 to 11

The magic happens every day, even on a Monday morning, but I don’t always take the time to stop and notice.

Monday Morning - playing with sidewalk chalk

In just an hour of paying attention:

Monday Morning - Gem

The air is the perfect temperature – not so warm or cold as to demand attention.

Monday Morning - playing with sidewalk chalk

Watching an artist become

Monday Morning - playing with sidewalk chalk

The little one exploring – getting familiar with Mother Nature

Monday Morning - bird bath

And Mother Nature says hi right back.

Monday Morning - mama bird feeding her chicks

A mama bird feeding her chicks…

Monday Morning - mama bird feeding her chicks

A perfect rosebud…

Monday Morning - rosebud

Mother Nature reclaiming a chair…

Monday Morning - garden chair

I find the magic every time I look for it. I just have to remember to look.

Monday Morning - Gem

Every day is a gift.

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The most fascinating animal at the zoo

Camels, tigers, polar bears… what animal at the zoo would most capture a toddler’s attention?

Could it be a squirrel?

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Dee took us to the Alaska Zoo during our recent visit, and Gem was captivated by this little red squirrel.

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He didn’t move a lot at first

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But I promise he was real

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see…

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They played peek-a-boo and hide and seek for a while

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Then one last peek as we said good bye.

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Dandelions

I love dandelions.

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They are such simple, earnest, friendly, happy flowers. I understand that people tend to despise the weed, but they warm my heart. ¬†They’re like children; they may make a mess of the yard, but really they just want to make you smile.

Besides, their greens are yummy.

These bear cubs thought so too. They were making quite a nice meal of Dandelions right alongside the highway. (We were a little east of Whitehorse, YT, here.)