Monday, April 26, 2010

Free-range kids

Last weekend, we drove out to our friends' place in the country to see their 3-day-old chicks.

Their big hens have currently livened things up a bit by laying their eggs somewhere hidden on the property. So, they'll have to stay in their enclosed yard until they stop playing their silly hen house games!

We've been getting some of our eggs from these free-range chickens.

They're such nice feathery cluckers and love to be held.

This one lays such pretty brown eggs. See her earlobes? That tells you what color eggs she lays. Red earlobes = brown eggs.

Even though the feather coloring of a hen has nothing to do with her egg color, this one lays brown speckled eggs.

They've got two roosters who occasionally duke it out to see who's in charge.

This beautiful, white, silky guy keeps the hen house lively and the yard noisy with his cock-a-doodly-doos. He's currently in charge.

The neighbor horses were quite friendly.

This is what you get when they like you (*smooch*).

As long as we were filling our day with nature, we ended up down at the river to do a little fishing and swimming.

Actually, before the kids got in the water, we noticed a snake in the river.

Yeah, ewww!

This guy (clutching his toddler) sauntered over to take a look and noticed that the snake was injured but certainly not he "ensured" it was dead and tossed it down the river.

Then we thought, "Why let a perfectly good science experiment go to waste?" So we brought the snake back to our friends' house...and let the kids dissect it.

We even kept the skin it just finished shedding. (It's now on our nature shelf.)

After the snake's robust nervous system calmed down (when it stopped twitching around every time we moved it), our friends' boys did the honor of dissection.

You just can't know the joys of nature unless you see a snake heart and liver, you know? (We identified it as a non-venomous blotched water snake...although it immediately looked WAY too much like a rattlesnake to me.)

Mikey holds up the trachea and esophagus.

Our friends are also hunters, and Jimmer was fascinated by how they clean and reload their bullet shells.

He spent a good chunk of time there helping clean them out.

We ended the day with grilled burgers, a campfire, and S'mores.

It was a wonderful spring day with our nature-loving children getting to roam the land and waters, frolic out-of-doors with other kids, unite with animals and critters, eat wild onions, and just kids.


Deann said...

What fun! Children (and adults) need more days like that!

Lisa said...

Could your daughter be any more of a mini-you? :-) Great pictures!

Angela said...

The horse "Smile" made me laugh out loud! And the snake skin kinda creeped me out! What a fun adventure for your family. I LOVE doing stuff like that as a family.