For swimming, rain, cold, or hot, whatever you pack is whatever you got! That is our packing mantra for every trip, and we had it all this time! We headed to the cabin on a beautiful July Monday with two extra kids for a few days. We found miniature ponies, rain, bunnies, flowering lily pads, and generally so much color and beauty my camera almost burst.
Our tenants at the property have had a horse named Zoe since they moved in, and the horse is always a major attraction as we pass her on our way to the cabin. This time, we arrived at night and there was a nearly full moon and a gentle, enveloping mist as we lugged our bags to the trail. “PONIES!!” called Cleverly as she passed the corral. “There are TWO TINY PONIES!!”. Now, Cleverly is not always the most reliable conveyor of information, being rather dramatic and embellishing the truth at times, and she had two friends along to impress. I was ahead of her, had not looked at the corral, was not inclined to believe her, and was not interested in turning back. But she sounded legitimate so I left my bags and walked back. There, in the moonlit field, surrounded in a light fog, were two small silouhettes in addition to Zoe’s shape. Ponies? It seemed unreal in the night, but I saw them. And it turned out to be true: our tenants had acquired a miniature pony and she had a baby! The kids ran down the next day and got to really hang with the equines, even brushing and feeding them with their owners. Baby miniature pony? That was a show-stealer with this crowd.
Rain and the Ithaca Sciencenter
From Tom Robbins, because I’ve always had a thing for him. It really wasn’t this bad but it did rain a day and a night, and it gives me an excuse to quote Mr. Rock Star Author himself:
“And then the rains came. They came down from the hills and up from the sound. And it rained a sickness. And it rained a fear. And it rained an odor. And it rained a murder. And it rained dangers and pale eggs of the beast. Rain poured for days, unceasing. Flooding occurred. The wells filled with reptiles. The basements filled with fossils. Mossy-haired lunatics roamed the dripping peninsulas. Moisture gleamed on the beak of the raven. Ancient Shaman’s rained from their homes in dead tree trunks, clacked their clamshell teeth in the drowned doorways of forests. Rain hissed on the freeway. It hissed at the prows of fishing boats. It ate the old warpaths, spilled the huckleberries, ran into the ditches. Soaking. Spreading. Penetrating. And it rained an omen. And it rained a poison. And it rained a pigment. And it rained a seizure.”
So what to do with 6 kids when the rain doesn’t stop? We headed to Ithaca and the Sciencenter. We spent a lot of time here when we lived in the area, and the kids were happy to go back. Here are some exhibits inside:
and outside, a pendulum thing seen from above, and bubbles!
Then there are the impressive indoor animals/fish, and a Green Tree Python with its peculiar, rather creepy, coiled manner of sitting on a branch:
A Rescued Bunny
Mr Fantastic was mowing when he came upon a rabbit nest with 3 bunnies. The mom had left, and unfortunately the mower killed a bunny, so two adorable critters were there in the meadow. They were small and slow, but they were old enough that their eyes were open and they seemed ok. The girls were on the case as they checked out the situation and made plans to adopt, however we parents felt the bunnies needed a chance to reunite with their family. We decided to leave them overnight and deal with them the next day if needed. As it happened, the next day there was one bunny alone in the nest. It was quickly placed in a basket with some wool we had from cabin insulation. See below with my hand for perspective – the little guy/gal was tiny! And probably had not eaten or drunk anything since before the incident with the mower.
Using the neighbor’s wifi and my trusty i-pod, I located the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center, part of Cornell university in Ithaca. We drove over there and left the bunny, we were all a little sad about it but it was the right thing to do. I left contact information and a couple of weeks later we got a letter from the place saying the bunny was doing well and being readied for release back into the wild. Here are the kids outside of the center. I thought we might get a tour or something from the staff there, but the place was small and they seemed busy so it was a little anti-climatic. I suppose having a large number of kids didn’t help. Anyway, we saved a bunny!
The pond and outhouse
The pond was lovely after the rain, and the kids swam quite a bit! There are a lot of lily pads this year, I’m not sure why. The flowers were beautiful.
the outhouse is looking good! The roof is finished. We got a fancy faux-silver toilet roll holder at a thrift store. Mr. Fantastic put in new flooring, too, and he’s working on the broken window. Here’s a view from inside and outside:
and how to tell if you should approach!
So it was a nice summer scene in rural upstate NY. We made it back safely, returned the guests to their parents, and continued with summer in the city 2014.