On Saturday, Husband, Ethan and I ventured out to the local Audobon park (Husband was heartily disappointed when he punched Autobahn into the GPS and I corrected him--sorry, dear), to participate in the 1st Annual Butterfly Census. We were meeting friends with kids Ethan's age and very excited to watch the kiddos chase little winged beings gleefully through the fields, ooh'ing and ahh'ing at the glory of spring and the wonder of innocence. Eh.
We started with a picnic at the front of the park; and by "picnic" I mean the adults ate while trying to cajole, bribe and trick the kids into eating anything while it was clear they preferred to throw sand into a storm drain and chase each other around. Fine. Pick and choose your battles--best lesson of parenthood, EVER.
When it was time to go count butterflies, we picked up our clipboards, illustrated census sheets and spear-pointed golf pencils; these census people meant business, clearly, which led us to believe we'd be swarmed by hundreds of brightly colored butterflies flittering all around us. And just as an aside, spear-pointed golf pencils? Really not an idea writing implement to have in the presence of pre-schoolers. Just saying.
We walked to the courtyard that led to the walking trail--the veritable gateway to butterfly bliss! On a bench they had a collection of pre-schooler sized butterfly wings which each kid had to have attached to his or her back before we began our walk. Very cute. How could our little human sized butterflies NOT attract a plethora of much smaller, real butterflies?
And so we walked. And walked. And walked.
And no butterflies. Three-quarters of a mile we walked with three toddlers, two of whom decided they needed to carry sticks with them (hello, potential eye-injury!!). We walked up little narrow pathways, rife with poison oak (which none of us really knew how to identify) and past one long-abandoned crashed car (we're talking Studabaker here), and yet, not one. tiny. freaking. butterfly.
Ethan and his friend Alex decided that digging holes (or stabbing their sticks into pre-existing holes, perhaps created by a small, potentially angry little animals) was way more important than counting butterflies. And who could blame them, when there were no butterflies to be counted?
We met several groups of people along the pathway who were equally confused as to where the butterflies might be. And we were forced to wonder: WHY have a 1st Annual Butterfly Census when there are NO butterflies???!!
So after letting the kids play in the mud by a little duck pond for a few minutes, we sadly concurred that there was no wildlife to be marveled at and that it was time to go home. Meh. As we left the park, we noticed that the big white dry-eraser board at the front entrance showed that a total of eight, EIGHT, butterflies had been counted all. day. And five of them were the same type of butterfly, so I suppose, if they were counted by five different people, they *could* actually be the same freaking butterfly. Bah.
So fine. No butterflies. But a cute kid. Lookie (and I apologize that Blogger loads these pictures, backwards, so you're looking at the pictures in the wrong order, but there's no "right" order for cute).
Ethan and his friend play a pre-schooler's version of Russian Roulette: what animal made this hole and just how much are we angering it right now by poking our sticks into it's home?