Turns out that our friends' two kids (nearly 2 and nearly 4) were more than content to hunt for fossils or, as they put it, throw rocks, right by the creek near our vacation rental, a really nice house with a great view. The weather was warm enough for camp fires and walks and dinner outside.
We explored a couple of local towns one day, but mostly, we looked at the view. We threw rocks. We slept and ate well. There was no internet access. It was quiet, aside from neighborhood farm noises. It was a really restful few days that it turns out the professor and I both needed.
In the wildlife department, we didn't see much. I did see a dead armadillo and a live wild turkey along the highway. I also saw one dog that I nearly stopped for, until my professor convinced me that a) we had no room for it, b)we didn't know where the nearest animal shelter was c)it probably lived nearby and d)we already have two dogs..at home. I still struggled with that one...(must save all dogs?)
At the vacation house, we were adopted by 3 local farm cats, 4 neighborly dogs, and we watched a farmer help a newborn calf learn to nurse from its mother. Not wildlife, but definitely animals that helped me think about and celebrate our friend Esther's life. (Thanks very much, by the way, for helping me celebrate her in that last blog post. Your comments were very appreciated.)
Along the way, I knitted one pair of socks for my nephew Lewis. (he's at home, but still not gaining weight as a baby should--not really out of the woods just yet.) I also spun some lovely California Variegated Mutant (CVM) wool on my Little Gem spinning wheel. Mostly, I sat and watched the world go by.
I came home to discover that lots of exciting book stuff has happened! A great book review in a magazine, a fun blog post that I helped write, (It didn't look so nifty when I sent it in!) and even, a Knitty review!(scroll down to the very bottom to see about my book.) I've also had tons of nice notes about the book over the last few days. Thank you! I've really enjoyed every last one.
My conclusion? Maybe I should go watch the cows in the Ozarks more often. Lots of good things happen along the way... both on the internets--and in the real world. Here's to one more calf being born!