First there was the snake, discovered down by the canoe. Just a sweet little snake, minding it’s own business. It tried to snap at them when my husband first picked him up, but soon he settled down and enjoyed hanging with us for a bit.
Okay, “enjoyed” might be a little strong, but he didn’t seem to mind much.
The next day we went hiking in an area that had quite a few ticks. I made sure to do an extra thorough tick check on the kids before bed and, sure enough, found one on my son. After I pulled it off him (it had just bit and wasn’t embedded) I dropped it in some rubbing alcohol to kill it.
At which point he started panicking that I was going to kill it the tick. Because it might be a female, with eggs, and then ticks might go extinct. Nothing I could say would convince him that ticks were absolutely not endangered and, even if they were, no one would mind a bit.
So we looked at it for a minute and then I let him release it on the deck. (And after he went to bed, I went out to the deck, found that thing, and squished it.)
Then the next night I came home from work to find two kids excitedly telling me that we had a wild animal in the house. They kept trying to make me guess what it was and I kept failing because, well. It could be anything.
This is what it was.
A tiny, adorable, and really, really loud baby chickadee that my husband had found in the middle of the road. His nestmates weren’t so lucky but this guy seemed pretty perky. We fed him some mashed up banana, gave him a comfy home in a box for the night, and took him off to the wildlife rehab the next day.
It was quite the week for animal adventures. I guess the moral of the story is that I spend a lot of time engineering opportunities for my kids to learn about the outside world, but sometimes you don’t have to go looking for nature. If you keep your eyes and heart open, sometimes it finds you.
(If you think the other moral of the story is that I was trying to find a way to include pictures of cute baby animals, you aren’t wrong.)
(And the other, other moral of the story is that I need to start an anti-tick marketing campaign with my son.)