Sunday, July 6, 2008

July 4th- Over Already?

We spent the long weekend with my family in the Pennsylvania Wilds- where elk herds roam and bears make appearances. For the record, I was the only family member in attendance that did NOT see an elk or three and some even got to see bears. In fact, last night 3 huge elk went right through the backyard of the cabin only 40ft away from those enjoying the night at on the patio and I was upstairs getting one more child to bed. Oh they came to get me...but by then those elk had finished their show.

The cabin was great. It had room for all of us and then some. The kids were all nestled in a cute room with two bunks. Perfect for four kids. The property was large and no traffic meant lots of visiting outside and the kids could go outside and hang out a lot. We had a great room with a balcony and- a bat. We first noticed him behind a curtain earlier in the evening and instead of agreeing to go outside on a piece of newspaper he flew away up and around the loft and kitchen. We didn't hear from him again until...I'm not sure what time it was but I woke up to this flapping sound. A flapping, swooping sound. Dan had fallen asleep and as a rule I don't wake him up knowing he has a hard time falling back to sleep. I considered this an emergency situation. "Dan," I said, "I think there is a bat in here." He finally woke up enough to turn on the light and sure enough there he was. Only instead of being bothered by the light, he swooped in even more. I sat up in bed with my sleeping bag liner over my head- who needs to get pooped on after you've gone to bed? It rested for a moment on a rafter and Dan remarked about how cute he was. Incidentally, bats are cute but varmints nevertheless. i told Dan I wasn't really comfortable with the swooping while I slept. He agreed. It really didn't seem to react to Dan's encouragement to leave, but finally it went back up the hole in the ceiling next to a pipe. Needless to say, it took us both a while to get back to sleep. i was listening too hard for the flap and swoop. The next two nights we slept with a broom by the bed. Waving arms wasn't impressive enough for Mr. Bat. Fortunately, it probably went to its winter home in one of the six bat boxes attached to the house. We never saw him again in the house. Thinking about a bat box? Tip: Put it up away from your house so the bat isn't tempted to upgrade. On the flip side, my parents felt right at home- a cabin on a mountain in the woods with a bat in the belfry.

A view from a dam on the First Fork of the Sinnemahoning Creek

Wildflowers from our little walk

Dan you should take photos more often...I remember when he was all about photography but he's not so much into it lately.

After our trip to the state park above yesterday, we stopped by the Wyckoff Run for some creek walking. That was my favorite activity of the weekend- seeing as I saw not one bear or elk. And honestly, the kids and I felt that NY creeks are colder than PA creeks. We have some tough kids!

No trip with my parents would be complete without some songs accompanied by my dad's guitar. Dan is harmonizing with flair.

Here we have an elusive set of parents who can often be found in their natural habitat- behind a camera on a wildlife trail or no trail just wildlife. They did see elk, porcupines, and my dad (and Dan) saw that bear. The other habitat is on their motorcycle hauling camera equipment to nature venues all around the east coast- and occasionally beyond- we missed out on the bike due to inclement weather.
So, thanks Mom and Dad for a fabulous weekend and congratulations on your first appearance on my blog! We got to see my sister and her family too. We arrived in the pouring rain and it turned out to be a lovely weekend. We left just as the humidity arrived.

One last note, eagles were on the list of wildlife to see and one State Park was eager to attract visitors to see the eagles. We were all set only to find out that the park has one pair you might catch a glimpse of. Seriously?! For the park to advertise Eagles! and provide a brochure with a majestic profile on the cover, I think the minimum eagle threshold should be at least a half dozen pair. Am I right?

Oh and if the native, naturalist, photographing parents could throw an elk picture my way, maybe I can add it to this post. That is if there were really any elk out there. I wouldn't know.


Michele said...

What a fun trip!

Your dh said...

The elk, bear, and eagles were incredible to see. Oh, did I mention we also saw a UFO?

Alana - The Mommy said...

LOL! Also, how about a jackalope, did you see any of those?

Lynn said...

Hey, Heather, fun to see your parents and what a great trip, though I would be saying YAAAHOOO at not seeing a bear. Bears are my worst nightmare. :)

Glad you had a good time.


Lynn said...

Heather, just wanted to drop back and tell you about Andrea's bear.