Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wishing Everyone a Happy Thanksgiving

Even though Thanksgiving is not for a couple of days, I want to wish everyone a safe and happy early Thanksgiving. Below is a list of 5 things I am thankful for!

1. Christine, my wonderful wife, who supports me even when I don't deserve it.
2. Michaela & Danielle, two pistols of energy able to wrap me around their fingers.
3. UW-Marshfield, a job!
4. Family and Friends. Both sides of the family visited us in the past two weeks to help with a dishwasher and a few other home improvement projects.
5. Being able to check off one more item on my ever growing list of things to do for work, home, friends and family....Done with Kali & Derek's Wedding pictures!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Walk in the Wildwood Park

After coming home from the Mead WA today, we took the girls for a walk at Wildwood Park. We were eagerly greeted by the a disappointed population of Mallards, Black ducks, and Canada Geese looking for handouts. Christine adjusted the Kelty backpack carrier for herself this week while raking leaves and volunteered to carry Danielle and push Michaela in the stroller tonight. While I never feel bad carrying or pushing either or both of the girls, having binoculars and camera instead was pretty darn nice. Michaela did not want to wear her jacket, even though it was only 50, using it as a blanket until sunset.

Wildwood Park has a wide diversity of activities, including the zoo, playground, pool, as well as walking trails. There is a small herd of elk in northern Wisconsin but this view of a cornfield, farmstead, and captive elk is probably more commonly seen. We did see a bit of wild wildlife, when Christine noticed the movement of a Great Horned Owl.

I've never been much of an artistic person, but I could not help myself when I saw the warm sky colors reflecting in a slow moving stream. A three second exposure gave quite the contrast between the solid rocks on the left and fluid bubbles on the right.

Mead Wildlife Area - Volunteer Day 1

My environmental economics class is conducting a Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) at the nearby Mead WA. The CBA project examines maintaining land diversity and I thought it would be very appropriate to not only apply class knowledge in the project but to also include a service component as a class. A small, yet wonderful, group of students got out of the classroom today and pitched in even though it included nearly 200 miles of travel.

It was great being able to help clear the service roads, but also to share my love and limited knowledge of the outdoors with the students. After a morning of brush hauling we had a great conversation with five Mead staff members over lunch. Thank you to everyone involved today, there is nothing like being outside to slow down, relax, and put everything into perspective again...such awesome soul food. To make things better we have another day scheduled next week at the same time!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

On their way home

Christine's Grandmother passed away this week. Christine was able to spend the week back in Minnesota with family and the two girls, visiting Grandma before she went to visit our Lord, and able to be with everyone at the funeral. Thanks to everyone who helped watch Michaela and Danielle.

I was able to spend every night at school this past week except Friday catching up with classroom work. While it was nice to catch up with school work, I missed my three girls greatly. Sorry for no recent posts, we had a wonderful visit from Mom, Caroline, and Aaron two weekends ago. Pumpkins, leaves, trick or treating and even a game of cards.