There is a surprising amount of wildlife around us, at least for an urban/suburban environment: rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels, ducks, deer, frogs (more likely toads, we’re not entirely sure), mice.  A couple weeks ago we found a vole in our basement.  That’s right, a vole.  We had never seen one before and it looked like a mouse until its front legs and claws were closely examined.  But by far the most commonly viewed example of wildlife this summer has not been an animal but rather an insect: the mosquito. There have been thick swarms of them in our backyard, so much so that even spending 10 minutes watching the July 4th fireworks from our backyard was impossible. We have been building a patio in the backyard, which has been pretty tricky with the mosquitos because Chris has to swat at them like a madman between each brick placement. Chris even contemplated building a DIY laser system to shoot the mosquitos out of the air:
though this could be a bit dicey with small children around.  In spite of this we were able to get the patio (mostly) finished in time to still use it this summer. Here is some footage of Everett helping Dad with gravel leveling:

Other forms of wildlife:

-There was a huge outdoor dinosaur exhibit at the zoo this summer. Lots of mechatronics and sound, and several life-sized specimens, to which Everett exclaimed “That’s ridiculous!”

-One sign of affection from Everett: gathering imaginary rabbits off the top rim of his milk cup and handing them to people. Upon receiving a rabbit you are expected to hold it in your hand, put it in your pocket, or put it on your shoulder.

-One significant event that caused a lot of discussion was when Morritz the cat caught a mouse at Sophie and Anna’s house (photo above). “Morritz caught a mouse, and then the blood, and then the mouse died.”

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