In the springtime, we like to venture down to the desert to one of our favorite little spots of perennially running water, the Yet Another Saint River.
This weekend, we swept up OmegaGranny (in lightweight camo pants) for the trip into the desert, and managed to hook up with Singing Bird and her husband as well (pre-arranged). We met up at SBird's house, where I spent most of my time ogling her artwork. I wanted to abscond with it all, though OmegaDad said to me, defensively, "Well, we have artwork! We just don't have it on the walls!"--sad but true. We have artwork that is in drawers, or rolled in tubes, most unframed, none on the walls. Sigh. Anyway, SBird's house is lovely and filled with eclectic artwork and light, so I am envious. OmegaDad, the chef chez OmegaFamily, merely lusted over the kitchen, wisting after all the counter space.
We loaded up the various picnic accoutrements, the Birds loaded up their (handsome and friendly) dogs, we all drove down through the lava flows and mesas, canyons and heaps of granite, and made it to the river. This year, unfortunately, we have had little precipitation, so the river was mostly rivulets. But there was enough to provide us with wet sand for sandcastles, plenty for itty-bitty little fishies to skitter through, and lots for the algae to bloom. Some of the algae collected in luxurious clumps that looked like prehistoric trilobites, or maybe alien lifeforms come to colonize the earth...the rest floated sinuously down the swiftly flowing river in small fluffs and streamers.
The never-ending chant of the five-year-old: "Ewww!" Whenever a clump of algae slid down the river towards her, she would scream and run away, arcs of sparkling water droplets spraying behind her. SBird and I took to calling out Algae Alerts for the sheer fun of watching her.
But one of SBird's dogs has an interesting quirk: Fiona loves algae. Really, really loves algae, especially when it is thrown for her to chase. A charming small dog that likes to steal algae from your hands is a recipe for getting a resistant five-year-old to decide algae is O-Kay.
The end result: the Dotter started collecting an amazing green lump of algae, sharing bits and pieces with Fiona. She culminated the experience by plastering the huge collection of algae on her head, like a crown or an odd fuzzy green toupee.
OmegaDad muttered to me that putting it on the blog would be enough to cause any right-thinking parent out in blogland to call us unfit parents and sic child welfare services upon us. Har. Git yer dialin' fingers ready, folks:
So I have managed, somehow, someway, to get the dotter to delight in squishing through mud, and now in playing with oodles of algae. Soon to come: bugs and worms.
It was a lovely day, and it was grand meeting SBird and her husband.