Archive for the 'We play outside.' Category


You just never know what you will find.

Just this morning Leila scared up this brilliant bird, a Brewster’s Warbler, as best we can tell.  It hung around only long enough to rest its legs and allow us a few photos and some gentle caresses with our eager fingers.  That the cat Ruby was spotted nearby shortly after we left the traveler to rest is a sobering suggestion
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Civil War Couple

Let me tell you about Galena.

Given the crabby nature of that last post, it was clear that we needed to get out of Dodge for a while.  Stash the kids with their grandparents, head South.  So we did. To Galena, IL.  Perched in the Northwest corner of Illinois, it was hardly much of a trek from Madison; it hardly garnered us any of the temperature
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Wooden Weekend

If you spot Andrew or I moving about like we’re wearing wooden underwear today, it’s because we spent a good portion of the weekend filling our shed with wood, making sore muscles.  Because it won’t fill itself.  It is such a lot of work, but oh, it is good work.  My love song to making wood still holds true.  It
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A fraction of the barn has reassembled.

As a woodshed. How is it that barnwood weathers the passing of time with such grace and beauty?  Such integrity it has, though more of it is philosophical than structural at this point.  Perhaps it is just ordinary weathered wood turned sublime through the romance of the barn and the vitality held within.  Rumor has it that stray bullets are
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Field Trip to Devil’s Lake

It was weather that couldn’t be argued with.  By 10 am, we were out the door and on the way to whatever adventure we could scare up. There were a couple of necessarily-firm discussions about boundaries and veering from the well-marked path and how doing so without caution could lead to death.  So slow down, Witchard. I may have shaved
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Fledgling Wren

If ever you find yourself with an opportunity to hold in your hands a tiny, just-fledged wren, I do hope you’ll take it. It is the second year in a row that we’ve had the chance.  Small miracles they are, and to hold one in your hand is to infuse some of the sublime into your everyday.


Have camper, will travel…

  …back in time. Was it March when we acquired this gem of a popup camper?  I think so.  Sporting a color palette that was all the rage in 1995, the year of its birth, this deluxe model Starcraft has secured a place of affection and great utility in our burgeoning family culture.  We’ve become Camper Folk, and it is
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Spring Sprung, Exhibit C

“What a remarkable way for this land to provide,” Andrew exclaimed after returning with a limit of trout caught the morning of the season’s opener.  Accompanied by his eager apprentices, he won us a trout dinner in less than a half hour.  Remarkable, indeed.  We are so grateful to this land and to the vibrant brown trout who we count
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Ms. Snapper

Eggs of another sort

Eggs – the laying of and the hatching of – have so permeated my thinking these days that I was naturally reminded of this gem of a video, captured a few months after we moved here to the Acres.  It’s casually narrated by a 2 1/2 year old Isadora. The hens were not impressed with the intruder, egg-laying-kin or not.
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We discovered ice.

It all started innocently enough.  Errol wanted to go outside; I joined him.  He reveled in the fact that he was walking on the lake, frozen like a giant ice cube.  I brushed away the snow with the edge of my boot to reveal the ice beneath.  That simple act set forth a cascade of events which culminated in the
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