Saturday, April 13, 2013

Different Scene, Same Old Fun

Our backyard isn't what I would call 'cookie cutter' anymore.  We do love it and it is certainly a work in progress (and most likely will be for years to come), but it isn't the nice family friendly, flat surface with soft grass that we had back in the Pacific Northwest.

Here are a few glances of the back of our property.  Lots of cactus, rock and some creepy crawlies.

Cactus was an interesting new plant for the kids to get used to.  You can tell them to be careful all you want....but it only takes once of falling into one of these prickly sensations to get the message across.  Boy O learned a painful lesson early on and subsequently spent an extended period indoors having the spines removed from his backside.  Like I said, it only happened once.

We have seen some pretty amazing wildlife from our dining nook and sitting on the back porch.  In addition to the regular herds of deer that infiltrate our garden, there are some things I hadn't expected, such as large walking sticks, tarantulas, a variety of snakes and my least favorite-the scorpions.  I never really thought much of them until I had my own experience of being stung by one in my bed.  Having never thought much of enlisting the help of a professional to come spray our house (not a big fan of chemicals), I informed Daddy O that I would be spending nights elsewhere until our house was scorpion free.  The very next morning, I joyfully answered the door and welcomed in our exterminator who proceeded to drench our house in scorpion napalm.  And I continue to be happy to see him every few months.

This is a picture taken just this evening-they are easy to find if you lift a rock up off the ground.  This little guy is pretty tiny...

...but as you can see, we have quite a few rocks they can find shelter under.  The critters have been removed from our household, but I think we will have to coexist outside.

Despite the terrain being so incredibly different, we have found ways to have some backyard fun.  We seem to be doing just fine without the flat, soft areas.  The kids enjoy having the sprinkler right on the playground.

It makes for some super fast sliding, wet swinging, and about the same amount of splashing.  The only difference is that we have learned to keep our shoes on!

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