~ shelter ~

Even when we're shy, nervous or apprehensive...offering a conversation, a doorway, a shoulder...a safe landing spot. Shelter.

My little one is sometimes afraid of bugs. To be sure, she is a little daredevil in many other realms but the love of insects has not come easily to her. Still, we weave in a little here and there and she has come around from watching them from a distance to holding them. A little patience. A little time. A little tucking my own occasional squeamishness away in my pocket and putting on my game face.

Here she is - reveling. Pure joy that this dragonfly was trusting her to hold space for it while it rapidly flapped it's wings to dryness. A little shelter. Both renewed.

~ rarity ~

Sometimes, there is kindness in the things we refrain from doing...

As tempting as these lovelies are for little hands to pick, (I have to admit, I was more than a little worried our rogue 4 year old would attempt to litter the forest floor with lady slipper bulbs) we spent a morning just looking and talking about these lady slippers. We discovered the look of their leaves so that even when we couldn't spy a flower, we knew a lady slipper had been or would soon be there...and we knew to tread a little more carefully, just in case. We even learned a new word in the process..."rare". Our six year old was in love with this word for about a week and tried applying it to other things as well. Some pretty funny...(no honey, the dog isn't rare but she is one of a kind!).

~ tweet ~

This little guy....

Oh my cuteness. Our 14 year old was walking the dog when he (well, the dog really) came upon this little munchkin on the side of the road, sitting in the bottom of a hedge. Not a nest in site or any momma. Our boy came home, grabbed a box, some toweling and set off (with his 6 year old sister in tow) to rescue it.

We called the lovely people at Avian Haven and got an informative message (it was, after all, 8pm). So, as directed, we loosely closed up the box, didn't feed or water it and placed the little critter in a quiet, dark spot. We didn't hear a peep out of him until bright and early- 5am! Then what a solo he gave us! Turns out (according to the folks at Avian Haven) he was a red eyed vireo, a migratory songbird. First one of the year for them (thankfully!) and a lucky little nestling at that since they said he was too young to be on his own and was likely spooked out of his nest.

Such a lovely and sweet experience (although, I imagine, sad for the little munchkin). We were able to (briefly) see a wild songbird up close in its baby stage and he was able to be rehabilitated and grow  up to sing many more songs!

If you'd like to get a sampling of his music, listen here!

~ open ~

Inspiring to see kids, who were complete strangers a second ago, explore and run around like old friends. Open hearts that enjoy fleeting, but lasting, moments of connection through looking for clams, crabs, sea snails and hermit crabs...the openness to talk to a complete stranger and share in curiosity and wonder...

~ snap ~

One dusty June day, we happened along this little critter. Our four year old spied it and was instantly scared silly. I have to say, before I realized what it was, I was a little taken aback myself. This quarter-sized guy was super dusty and moving ever. so. slowly. Once we realized it was a snapping turtle, we picked him up (by the sides), asked the orchard folks if they had a pond they'd like us to pop him in and upon hearing the answer we settled him into a container and decided to take him somewhere he could live out his many years to come.

We set him up with a temporary pool and tried to feed him... which he so politely declined. The kids took turns holding him, watching him, trying to feed him and, generally, fussing over him. After keeping him overnight, we decided his heart was in the wild so we took him to our favorite hiking spot and let him go in a small pond there...