April 30, 2012

Coaxing the Bird Out

My conversation with our pet cockatiel (whose name is Bird) this morning:

"C'mon, Bird!"

"Come out, Bird!"

"I'll give you a snack, Bird!"

I was trying to coax the bird out of his cage. It didn't work. But I didn't notice that Mom left the door closed on his cage so he couldn't get out.

April 26, 2012

End of School Portraits

Yesterday was my last Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) class for the school year. Mom dressed me up for the class, and Dad happened to have his lights and things set up at work for portraits. So, Mom zipped us over to Dad's office after class and he took some pictures of me.

April 25, 2012

Arboretum Visit Part Deux

Mom had to head back to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum this week to exchange an item she bought at the gift store. We had no plans yesterday, and the weather was predicted to be sunny and in the 70s, so we headed back to the arboretum with the plan to walk around and explore some more.

We checked out the Learning Center, which includes displays for kids. There wasn't much for me to look at. Most of the exhibits inside the building were for older kids. But they are building an outdoor garden area that will have a section specifically designed for toddlers to explore, as well as a section for infants to explore. 

We walked through the tulips again. 

Mom took more photos of crabapple blossoms.

We came across these pretty bluebells.

And Mom took more photos of the rosebud.

We then decided to explore a hike through a bog and some woods. On our way we passed a grassy area near a pond with daffodils planted all over.

The swamp/bog area was pretty, with budding leaves on the trees and bushes, and the swamp marigolds in bloom.

We crossed a boardwalk...

...then hiked through a forest area.

I collected sticks while Mom looked for wildflowers.

Mom snapped one more tulip photo before we left. 

April 23, 2012

Crabapples and Tulips and...

I've been wanting to get outside a lot in the past few weeks. We got a taste of late spring/early summer last month, and I've been anxious to play in the grass and dirt. However, April has been a more typical month for Minnesota, with quite a few days just chilly and windy enough to keep Mom and me indoors most days.

Yesterday morning we all (Mom, Dad, and me) decided we had had enough of being at home, and Dad suggested we go to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. It was cloudy and in the low 50s, but there was only a slight breeze, and the sun would peak out from the clouds from time to time. Of course, the weather affects Mom and Dad more than it does me. I don't really care if it's cold or chilly outside. I'm still happy to run around and play.

Between the parking lot at the arboretum and the visitor center, there is a line of crabapple trees with hundreds of daffodils planted beneath them. With the blossoms on the trees at peak and the daffodils in bloom, it was quite pretty. Of course, soon after Mom grabbed the camera to capture a few pictures of the flowers, I announced that I had to use the bathroom. It was my first big trip out of the house without my diaper, so Mom only captured a couple pictures before we ran into the visitor center to find a bathroom for me.

It was well worth having to go into the visitor center next, as there is an orchid exhibit there, which runs until the 29th of April. Mom loves orchids for all the different designs and colors these flowers have. Mom and Dad also wanted to sign up for a membership to the arboretum so we can go more often.

We walked through a small conservatory with other exotic looking flowers...

...before heading outside to view tulips, which were also in full bloom.

Behind the visitor center is a landscaped area full of gardens, including dwarf conifers, roses, lilies, perennials, herbs, and on.

Rosebuds were in full bloom.

This bleeding heart was in full bloom, too.

We walked past the conifers.

And we encountered more crabapple trees, these ones with vinka planted below them.

We also came across more daffodils.

Mom isn't sure of the name of the tree with these blossoms.

After walking through some of the gardens, we ate a snack inside the visitor center, then drove a loop called Three Mile Drive through the rest of the arboretum. Before leaving to go home, we stopped for a few more photos in an area where many more crabapple trees are planted together.

Of course, the sun came back out just as we were walking back to the car. 

April 14, 2012

Lebanon Hills Regional Park

We visited a park in St. Paul, MN today called Lebanon Hills Regional Park. There are miles of trails, including hiking, equestrian, and biking trails, as well as many lakes for fishing, canoeing, or kayaking.

We stopped first in the visitor center. There were the usual maps and brochures you find at a park's visitor center, and there was a large room with various activities for kids like me. On a large table sat bones, antlers, feathers, rocks, and various other natural items for touching. Another table had puzzles, a third table had paper and crayons for coloring, and there was a corner area with a few other toys.

I was quite interested in touching all the different natural items, including this skull...

...this fur...

...this turtle shell...

...and this pine cone.

I found an owl toy amongst the natural things, and I was pretty excited about that particular find. 

 We left the visitor center to walk a .83 mile loop around a small lake.

We spotted some small, pretty flowers. These are the first we've seen in the woods this spring.

I kept remarking to Mom and Dad about how tall the trees in the woods are. They're really, really tall!

Mom enjoyed snapping some photos showing the spring growth. Because of the cooler and very windy weather we've had the last couple weeks, she hasn't been able to get out to take as many pictures of blooms and budding leaves as she'd like. 

About halfway through the walk I got a little tired and asked to ride on Dad's shoulders. Mom made a mental note to put my stroller back in the car for these kinds of outings. It gets a little tiring carrying the camera bag and me together, or carrying the diaper bag and me together.

Once I got enough rest, I was ready to walk again. I collected two leaves from the path and had to show Dad.

Back by the visitor center is a small beach for swimming. Mom thought I would run right up to play in the water, but all I cared about was walking in the sand. I wanted to dig in it for a while, too, but Mom and Dad were ready to go find somewhere to eat lunch, so we left the park.

It's definitely a place that is on our list to visit again.