Saturday, January 23, 2010

Alaskan wilderness

The kids have been exploring the woods around our property and beyond recently. They discovered a lot of snowshoe hare tracks in the woods. Apparently the rabbit population increased dramatically this summer as the woods are teaming with wild rabbits. The kids found they could just walk through the woods and scare rabbits out of their holes as they walked. Alyssum started putting out lettuce and carrots down by the garden as the rabbits were eating stuff out of the compost. We watched with amusement one day as a rabbit and squirrel chased each other away from their new found treasure in the compost. The rabbit finally won as he chased the squirrel away and up a tree. The squirrel didn't give up too quickly, he noisely voiced his complaint from a few branches up! We laughed at their antics!!

So Ethan decided he needed to try his hand at snaring a few wild rabbits. Grandma and Grandpa let us borrow some snowshoes to make tramping through the woods a lot easier. And cousin Jason loaned Ethan some snares for rabbit hunting. Earlier in the week Ethan and Kailee snowshoed out beyond our property to a wooded area with lots of rabbit tracks and trails. And hopefully to a less populated area so he wouldn't snare someone's pet! They set four snares which took them several hours to set up.

Late Wednesdsay afternoon Ethan and Kailee returned to the snares to see if they had caught anything. They took headlamps since it was getting late and could be dark when they returned. About 5:30 they came bursting in the door of the house with a wild story..."We checked our first snare and were walking to the second one when 15 feet in front of us a large cat jumped out of the bushes. It was a couple feet tall, had a short stubb tail, and looked like a large cat. I turned to shine my headlamp on the animal and saw red eyes looking back at me. We turned slowly and walked out to the road to return home! It was scary mom!! We think it was a lynx. What do you think?" We are fairly certain it was a lynx, although rarely seen they are around and their main food source are snowshoe hares. The tracks in the snow are the right size for a lynx. It was scary for them, but how exciting to see!

Now today, Steve, Ethan, Tyler, and Kailee tromped back out into the woods to check on the traps. Out of the four they set, two traps had rabbits! Frozen solid since it was so cold out, they just looked like stuffed rabbits! And not a lynx in sight...just the tracks in the snow! Now Ethan has some work to do... Guess we will be having rabbit stew one of these days! Ethan is hoping to get enough rabbit pelts to make something...we'll see what he thinks after he cleans the first two! What a great learning experience for all the kids!!

Kailee is NINE!

Kailee had a fun birthday with her friend Emerald, cousins Katelyn and Bethany, and sister Alyssum and family. We celebrated her birthday at my mom and dad's house with everyone. She wanted Legos for her birthday so I made a Lego cake. She was pleased!

Hard to believe it's been almost nine years ago since we got that phone call telling us we had a referal of a baby girl...all the info we got info was her name and birthdate. I am so thankful for the journey God has taken us on to bring our family together.