Friday, February 17, 2006

What Do Coffee, Magic Treehouse Books and Sandhill Cranes Have in Common?

They were all a part of a wonderful afternoon.
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SmokyBear and Tigger have been slow to really get reading. So I asked a friend for suggestions for easy chapter books and she showed me The Magic Treehouse books, which are on about a second grade reading level. Not great literature, but they looked like they would serve my purpose. I bought two books for each of them and told them that when they had finished all four, I would take them back to the bookstore and buy them more of the series along with their choice of a coffee drink. I was not above bribing them at this point.
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I wanted something that was really easy that they could read before bed and these were a perfect fit. They really seemed to enjoy them even though the prize of an afternoon out with mom and the coveted coffee loomed larger in their view. SmokyBear showed up at my bedroom door at 11:30 one night with a huge grin on his face announcing that he had read a whole book that evening. He was so proud of himself! I was excited too because I knew he was making a huge step towards reading for pleasure. He also had extra incentive to finish before his brother so he could go alone with me to Barnes and Noble.
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So, yesterday was the day. Just the two of us left the house at about 11:00 in the morning. The hour's drive was wonderful. The time was spent having good conversation, just between Mom and son. On the way we saw a huge flock of birds over the interstate. I was wondering what the heck they were because there were so many of them and they looked too big to be Canada geese. SmokyBear admonished me to keep my eyes on the road and he would check them out. He remarked on their long necks and thought they looked similar to great blue herons but we'd never seen herons travel in such large numbers. We had no clue what they were.
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We arrived at Barnes and Noble and SmokyBear didn't know which drink to order. He's not used to coffee. He decided to "just get what the girls always get", which meant a caramel frappacino. Since we are studying zoology with this book

and the current topic is birds, we grabbed a stack of bird field guides to choose one to add to our collection. A lady sitting near us asked if we were getting started in bird watching and told us she had been doing it for about thirteen years. She told us all about our local orinthological society and about the interesting field trips. Last weekend a group had been out to a nearby refuge to see the sandhill cranes, which stopped here on their migration northward. I guess I'm getting slow in my older age because it didn't dawn on me until I got home and looked up the bird website and saw this picture that I realized the birds we saw over the interstate were sandhill cranes.
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Thanks to this wonderfully friendly lady at the bookstore, we now have some plans to visit some cool wildlife refuges in our area that I didn't even know existed. We might even get to see a bald eagle, which are known to be in our area! That would make a cool blog entry!

2 comments:

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

We love the Sandhill Cranes. Noisy birds, aren't they?!
Have you seen this?
http://heartkeepercommonroom.blogspot.com/2005/03/sandhill-cranes-heralds-of-spring.html

MamaLion said...

Thanks for the link!