So we spent a lot of the weekend starting the clean-up process of our beetle-killed pine tree. What a mess. Apparently the fear is that the larvae will be hatching into beetles as soon as the weather warms and they will fly into our other pine trees. Everyone says we'll be losing them for sure anyway (unless we make SUCH a drastic impact to reverse global warming that we get a cold enough winter to kill them all), but we want to keep them as long as we can. SO! We had to finish the debarking process that Woody did such a good job of starting, and we found millions of little white worms, bigger white worms, and tiny winged beetles (3 different stages of the lifecycle? I'm not sure) under the bark. We kept a fire going as we debarked and burned the bark as we went. But we lost lots of worms onto the ground and we're hoping they won't live... Anyway, little P had a wonderful time 'helping' daddy cut the logs into manageable pieces... SO much work.
And the little girls had quite an adventure too... A and her cousin went on a 'safari' down by the creek and when I saw them "swimming" in the 4 inches of water, I enticed them up to the house with the promise of muffins warm from the oven. They weren't the least bit concerned about how wet they were as they were wearing their snowsuits and feeling quite warm. Cousin had lost her hat, and her head was full of burdock (a burr so awful that we have to cut it out of our alpaca's wool). It took me a good hour to pull strand by strand of her hair out of the mess. I honestly thought we were going to have to shave her head when I first started... An adventure to remember! (this photo was taken near the end of the process when I realized it might be a good reminder story at her wedding or something!)