12 April 2009

Family and Field

Lindsay and I had a fun weekend with my family, who was in town visiting from northeast Ohio. On Saturday morning, my brother (Greg) and his wife (Kathleen) drove to Chicago to pick up my sister (Abbie) and bring her back to our house. While they were gone, Lindsay, my mom, my dad, and I took our nieces (Chloe and Lily) to Potato Creek State Park for an Easter egg hunt.

Think you could find any? We heard that there were over 1200 eggs; there were also over 100 kids there to "find" these eggs. The long buildup for the event to begin was quickly overshadowed as the actual "hunt" took less than 5 minutes.

Chloe and Lily both ended up with quite a few eggs; most contained candy, but there were also some that contained prizes such as "pick a gift" and coupons for local stores and restaurants.

Bootypants really wanted to join in the fun, but too bad for her; no dogs allowed.

After the hunt, we took a walk on Trail 1 at Potato Creek. Along the way, we came across various ephemeral wildflowers.

Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris) was in bloom in seepy areas and along the creeks.

Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica), which has probably been flowering for a week or two now, was at its peak.

While most of the Cut-leaved Toothwort (Cardamine concatenata) plants still had closed flowers, a few had already opened up.

We found the tiny Harbinger of Spring (Erigenia bulbosa) flowering in a few locations.

In the famous "Cormorant Tree," we were able to get a good look at a gulp of Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus).

At one point as we were hiking, Chloe decided that we should all race. As we ran along the trail, we encountered a muddy patch. Most of us went around the mud; Lily, being 3 years old, ran right through it, until three steps after her shoes got stuck and pulled off of her feet! Her socks were covered in mud.

Needless to say, she spent the rest of the hike sockless.

Chloe really seemed to enjoy walking Bootypants while we were at the park.

Today, I hid a bunch of eggs in our yard for the girls to hunt for. Chloe and Lily had a good time hunting for and gathering these eggs.

That's Lily putting an egg that she found into her basket, held by Greg.

Abbie enjoyed photographing the girls as they ran around the yard looking for treasures...

... as Kathleen looked on.

My mom and dad also came out to watch the girls look for eggs.

In the end, both Lily and Chloe came away with baskets full of eggs...

... but Bootypants got the last laugh!

If you are interested in seeing a bit more information about the plants that we saw during our hike at Potato Creek and while I was photographing the girls as they searched for eggs, click here and here.

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