Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Farm and Field

This afternoon we packed a picnic lunch and headed to Dragonfly Farm, about 5 miles up our “street,” to check it out. The signs at the road say that they have fresh cut flowers, a farm stand, and picnic area. The place is lovely and rustic.

We wander toward the sign that invites us in, and tells us that dogs must be on leash, and a long-necked duck waddles across our path. There are dozens of them. I spot a chicken run and have to check it out.

Lots of Rhode Island Reds, White Leghorns, and Plymouth Rock chickens, and one beautiful golden chicken on which each of its feathers is outlined in brown. I must find out what type of chicken this is!

We wander around more, admiring the acres of roses...

... and spy a gift shop. I vaguely notice the sign showing their hours of operation as we open the door. A kind-faced woman asks if she can help us, and I explain that we are exploring Healdsburg. She says that they are closed today, but we are welcome to look around. After apologies, I explain that we brought lunch with us, and ask if it would be okay to eat at one of the picnic tables outside. She says we are welcome to. We find a table and open up our small lunch, enjoying it, laughing and taking pictures, while looking at the surrounding rose gardens.

It’s a lovely place, and we plan to come back when they’re open to explore it some more.

Next stop, the high school football field, to try out the boomerang. We’d looked online the night before to see how to throw it, and have a pretty good idea of what to do. Becca threw first, and it just plopped into the grass. My first try had it making a turn and starting to come back. We were excited! We played with it, finding the wind, getting all excited as it started to make that turn, but being disappointed that it didn’t really come back to us, determined to keep trying. There was a man on the other side of the field driving golf balls, and he asked if we had ever thrown a boomerang before. We explained we hadn’t, and were operating off of online instructions. He looked at our little wooden boomerang and showed us how it was made, where the wood was cut away to give it the lift and turn, and gave us some really helpful tips on throwing it. Our last few throws were really good, still not what we wanted, but much closer. We had so much fun, lots of laughter and good times.

It was time to get to the pool, next to the school, for Becca’s first swimming lesson. She was nervous about being stuck in a group of much younger children, since she hasn’t had swim lessons yet and she’s 12. There were three kids in her group, and she was the oldest, but it wasn’t too bad. I could see the confidence in her build, and she paid attention and then practiced kicking and floating in our pool at home - even though it was really cold!! Eight more classes, and I’m hoping for more confidence for *both* of us when she’s in the water. She’s a fast study.

We couldn’t resist going back to El Sombrero for dinner before going home. There was a concert in the park, so finding a parking spot was a challenge, but we worked it out. I wish I’d gotten the burrito again, as the nachos were a disappointment. Still, good times with Bex, watching the people in the store, from the girl knitting at the table with her big sister, to the high school students walking in and then out, to the group of 8 French tourists chatting away and looking at their iPhones.

When we went to the chicken coop to feed and tuck in the chickens, I was horrified to see Foghorn Leghorn, our rooster, lying in an awkward position at the end of the coop. Upon closer observation we could see that one of his talons had gotten snagged in the baling twine I used to hang the feeder so they wouldn’t kick dirt and shavings into their food. We quickly untied the twine and Becca held the top open while I reached in to see how it was caught on his foot. He is normally a feisty little bird, but he must have known I was there to help him, and he was really calm, allowing me to take his foot in my hand and ease the twine off of his claw. He walked away slowly with a limp. Poor thing, I am sure that he is sore and his foot was probably going to sleep. I hope that he hadn’t been stuck like that for long, and that he feels better by morning. He’s a good boy, and I love listening to him crow.

Bex went into the pool, of course, for as long as she could. We played cards and watched Hells’ Kitchen (I know, but at least they bleep the words) before hitting the sack. I am really enjoying this time with Bex. There are a few options to discuss with Becca about where we go on Wednesday. Looking forward to it!!

P.S. Foggy the Rooster is fine this morning!

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