2020 Life Logs, Day 135: Afternoon Fun with Shadow and Goldpebbles
Date: Friday, May 15, 2020
Weather: Rain Overnight, Then Out Came the Sun; High 62, Low 55 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA

I’m so tired tonight that I can’t even remember what I did this morning! It was overcast and wet out early, so puttered about until about 10:30 am when the sun came out. That’s when I took a mile-long walk with Shadow. And I did hear from Jed after his trip to the supermarket and I ordered things Jed was not able to get from Rory’s, the little organic market in Mashpee, to be delivered in the afternoon. And all of a sudden it was time to head over to pick up the Goldpebbles. They were coming over to do some work for me and to go kayaking. I messed up and didn’t get the mulch that I wanted Sam to put around the raspberries, but he will return once I do get the mulch and do that. I had a kayak challenge for the boys and that was our first order of business. Normally I only allow them to kayak where I can see them, but this afternoon the tide was right to have them venture out of sight to a place that I could walk to with Shadow. I could actually keep an eye on them by looking between the houses on the water along our route. They all made it just fine and enjoyed the longer kayak adventure.

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They also enjoyed the adventures with Shadow. They wanted him to go with them in Sam’s kayak and we did give it a try. Shadow got into Sam’s kayak from the dock, but just wouldn’t sit down. So, we decided that maybe he is not quite ready and got Shadow back on the dock . Sam took off to mess about while Jonah and Ollie got ready to launch. While I was helping them, Shadow went to visit the dock next door and when Jonah paddled by there, he went over to say hello to Shadow . . . who jumped into his kayak. But again, he wouldn’t settle down, so I got him back on that dock. The same thing happened to Ollie, but this time Shadow jumped into the water. Thankfully, he started swimming but immediately went to the dock, put his paws up on the dock, and held on for dear life. I had to go down on the lower dock to rescue him. While Jonah and Ollie pushed him upward, I was able to pull him up on the dock. If this sounds like a three-ring circus to you, you are definitely right. But we were all having a great time and Shadow seemed unscathed by the water experience.

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While messing about, Sam found what I think are Clam Worms (Nereis virens) swimming in the water. I had to do some research to figure this out. It turns out that the Clam Worm has a very unique reproductive cycle. From late March to June, it undergoes heterogenesis. Its body changes and the parapodia (the short limbs) enlarge so it can swim and it is capable of releasing eggs and sperm. It looks like a swimming millipede. The worms swim in breeding swarms. Soon after they release their eggs or sperm, they die. Sam brought one over to the dock on his kayak so I could see it and then the boys were off on their adventure and a very wet puppy and I walked as fast as we could down to the kayakers’ destination point.
There is a neighborhood boat launching beach less than half mile down the street where the Eel River splits in two directions. From this point, you see all the way out to the Sound, so I wanted the boys to become familiar with what we will use as a meeting point as they venture further out on future kayak trips. All three boys made it just fine and then we reversed and headed home.

Sam then launched into a one-hour work session that turned into two hours. He wanted to make a little money and there were things I wanted him to do that I just can’t do right now. He lugged more bags of organic cow manure and garden soil out of the back of my car and enlarged a gardening area for me that I am going to use as a butterfly garden. He also used the hatchet to trim limbs that I keep running into when walking in the woods by the house with Shadow and to cut down some very small trees that are in the walking path. He is a good worker and I really enjoyed spending the time with him. Ollie was going to wash my car, but by the time we got back from kayaking, the sun was going down behind the trees and it felt too cool for such a wet activity. I encouraged him to wait until tomorrow when it is supposed to be a few degrees warmer and he agreed. He then headed straight to the hammock to keep reading his book. Two nights ago he decided that he no longer needed anyone to read chapter books to him. So for two days he has been reading constantly.
When I arrived to pick them up this afternoon, I couldn’t find Ollie. Then he popped up out of the window seat hidey hole in his new room with his book in hand. Then he escaped to the new hammock seats that hang down from the deck with Jonah. Lots of hidey holes at 43 Grasmere. Ollie was hiding so he could keep reading his book from The Guardians of Ga’hoole series.. It is a fantasy series about owls. He and Heather read books 1, 2, and part of 3, and then he took off on his own. But back to afternoon activities at The Cottage, Jonah spent some time inside playing the games Ziggy published and then he and Ollie played Corn Hole. They eventually adapted the game to include someone swinging in the hammock as the “hole”. Another three-ring circus act. Sam finished his work afternoon by giving Shadow a bath. Bending over the tub to scrub a puppy is just not what my back wants to do right now, but I didn’t want him smelling like a marsh. Sam came to the rescue. We then left a wet puppy while I took them home. Heather is contemplating getting Sam together with two very close friends (friends of Sam whose parents are friends of Heather and Jed’s) for a kayaking afternoon tomorrow. None of the boys have been with any friends since the middle of March, but kayaking seems like a great activity where keeping a proper physical distance is easy. Of course, it is taking a chance, but we can’t keep these kids in isolation all summer. As long as activities can take place outside using social distancing, I think we are going to have to move slowly and carefully in that direction. I have offered to oversee that outing. The boys are old enough that they will not need my help. I can keep a good distance and still ensure their safety. In preparation, however, I had better get off here and get some sleep to be ready for another active afternoon.

2020 Life Logs, Day 136: Kayaking, Marsh Mucking, and Car Wash
2020 Life Logs, Day 134: Another Beautiful Day