Archive for the ‘Outdoor life’ Category

A little bit of Minnesota love 



With love from Kansas

There’s a sunflower field in full bloom just northeast of town, and it is gorgeous. We visited at sunset on Saturday night, along with the rest of the city (it was hilariously crowded–we’re lucky they’re not in these shots, too). Hard to pass up such beauty, I suppose. Kansas is amazing. 

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It was a nice nod to the close of a gorgeous summer. Now, football’s underway, temperatures will drop to the 60s late this week, and there’s a closetful of sweaters and boots just begging to be worn. The best is yet to come. 

First harvest


Eight years later…

Last night, a storm with 70 mph winds roared through town. We watched from the west-facing window in our closet upstairs, startled to see straight-line winds of this strength. We knew we we had damage (and missing patio furniture), but it wasn’t until this morning we could see the full extent.

For the most part, our damage was limited to large branches, rather than completely uprooted trees. Compared to our neighbors, I suppose, we were fortunate—no damage to the house as far as we can tell, and we located the patio furniture with no trouble.

We were very sad to see a large branch down on the tree next to our house, though, and several more in the creek.

Earlier this summer, we were remarking on just how much those trees had grown in the past few years. I came across the small black and white photo in the corner below while working on our 15th anniversary photo collage. I think I took it the day we moved into this house, just a bit more than eight years ago.

The progress is pretty remarkable.


Weekend roundup

This weekend had us dodging storms as we completed hours of yard work. Saturday started with six cubic yards of mulch and a pretty cute little helper.




Hard work—and Bryan did most of the heavy lifting. But everything is trimmed, mulched, mowed and manicured. For now…


We have a pretty significant landscaping project underway in the backyard this spring. Some planting still remains, but here’s a sneak peek.



More on this development soon!

Snowy Sunday

We ended up with five or so inches if snow (and, thankfully, we maintained power). Just as we bundled up and made our way outside this morning, neighbors Todd and Joe were heading down the hill. The kids had a great time playing while the grown ups made short work of the driveway and walks. Bryan joined the crew as they finished the street.








Backyard birding

As Bryan and I watched a Ruby-crowned Kinglet flit about the backyard last night, we complied a list of everything we recall seeing in the trees behind our house over the last six and a half years. We recalled 48 birds in total, which I’ll list below. What’s on your list that missing from ours?

American Crow

American Goldfinch

American Robin

Baltimore Oriole

Barred Owl

Black-capped chickadee

Blue Jay

Brown Creeper

Brown Thrasher

Brown-headed Cowbird

Canada Goose

Carolina Wren

Cedar Waxwing

Chipping Sparrow

Common Grackle

Cooper’s Hawk

Dark-eyed Junco

Downy Woodpecker

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Phoebe

European Starling

Great Blue Heron

Grey Goose

Hairy Woodpecker

House Finch

House Sparrow

House Wren

Indigo Bunting

Mourning Dove

Northern Cardinal

Northern Flicker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-winged blackbird

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Song Sparrow

Tufted Titmouse

Turkey Vulture

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-crowned Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Wild Turkey

Yellow Warbler

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Yellow-rumped Warbler

There is no place like Nebraska



Olivia, out of the blue: “Mom, do you know WHY I want to be a squirrel?”

Bec: “You want to be a squirrel?”

Olivia: “Yes, because then I could climb to the top of trees. Also: no clothes. Just fur.”