July 15, 2014

Hanging with Kids

We celebrated July 4th at the West Jordan rodeo.  Our littlest grandson enjoyed playing cowboy in Papa's hat.
A week later, our son from Atlanta arrived with his family.  Along with our Salt Lake City daughter and family, we made a party of 12. (Our middle son and his wife couldn't make the trip this time, but we hope to make up for it with a later visit.)  Above, we were on a Mill Creek trail, heading up to Alexander Basin.  The 3 littlest ones rode in parent backpacks most of the time.  The rest, from a 5 year old on up, handled the trail like the finest troopers.
Our oldest granddaughter, age 9, hiked with the lithe speed and energy of a gazelle.
During a lunch break, the little ones had a chance to get out of their carriers and frolic a bit.
A hike to Timpanogas Cave was easier, and with plenty of nice views.
A ranger gave us an excellent cave tour and even took a group photo.
In between activities, the cousins had a chance to play. This pair had a great time dressing up and pretending to be "Frozen" princesses.
Remember the barn swallow nest from the last post?  The four chicks are doing well.  They look like they have enough feathers to fledge.
I just hope they learn to fly before their weight is too much for the hat nest to hold!

July 6, 2014

Hat Trick

Barn Swallows really like nesting around our house.  One year they made a nest on the porch.  Unfortunately, the sun's changing position caused the nest to end up getting too much afternoon sun, and the babies didn't survive long enough to fledge.
This year, we noticed a lot of activity in the garage.  A pair of swallows chose this hat collection (left here by the previous owner) as a perfect place for building a nest.
The eggs were laid, and the parents took turns sitting on them.
But they must have felt exposed, with too much activity coming in and out of the house.
They carefully placed this feather for privacy.
Ah, yes, much better.
The babies have hatched, and we've been leaving the door to the back yard open so mom and dad can come and go.  So far, so good.  Maybe this year their nestlings will fledge.
As an added treat, we've seen this Bullock's Oriole frequenting the yard.  


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