Friday, December 16, 2011

Scattertown Trail

A few weekends ago we were bored and decided to go for another ramble through the woods. This time we took the Scattertown trail, which winds along the tops of hills in the Bevils Hill area. It was a pretty fun walk, and while the hills weren't huge, they were enough to force us to stop and catch our breath every once in a while. Again, we had to keep a sharp eye out for the trail, all the fallen leaves made it hard to tell sometimes where the trail was. This is looking back down one of the hills at the trail.
Between the brown leaves on the ground, the brown tree trunks all around, and the brown branches overhead, it at first seemed like everything was brown. I was a little worried when we started out that it was going to be a somewhat boring hike, at least as far as the scenery was concerned. It was really fun though, to notice little splashes of color in places I may not have noticed had there been more to look at all around. It was fun to hunt for the little interesting details along the trail. Here are just a few things I found. This tree was really pretty. The picture doesn't capture the vibrant orange of the leaves very well, but it was really cool looking. Next we have several examples of some really cool lichen that we found.

This little guy was hiding in the leaves along the trail. I thought it looked cool just barely poking up through the leaf litter.

After we finished our ramblings, we decided to go check out Loakfoma Lake. Loakfoma is in Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, and is right next to Bluff Lake where we saw our alligator last time. Loakfoma is smaller than Bluff Lake and has more birds this time of year. You can't get right down on the shores of the lake, but there is a outlook point with binoculars so you can sit and watch the birds. It was a somewhat rainy, wet day so we sat in the little shelter at the outlook at watched the rain and the ducks and just enjoyed being outside. While we were there a bit of fog started creeping in on the shores of the lake and it was really pretty to watch.
We may be far from home, but this sure is a pretty neat place to be. We're really enjoying experiencing this whole new world.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fall Foliage and Craig Pond

So I'm a little behind with my posts. I took some pictures of the pretty fall colors around here but never got around to posting them. With all the trees here we had high expectations for the fall, and while things weren't quite as colorful as we had hoped for it was really pretty.

Ethan and I decided we wanted to get out and enjoy the beautiful fall weather, so we went down to Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge (one of our favorite places here if you hadn't figured that out yet) and took the trail through the woods out to Craig Pond. Here's a picture of the trail. This is one of the places where the trail was pretty clearly visible, but sometimes you just picked the biggest gap through the trees and hoped it was the one you were supposed to take.

Erik is just over 17 pounds now, so we have started taking turns carrying him when we go places. It's amazing how tiring it is to have him strapped to you as you're walking.

He was sure fascinated by all the trees and everything we were walking past.

After some wandering around and backtracking and a bit of bush-whacking we finally found the pond. It wasn't very big, but it was kinda pretty and there was a nice little bench where Erik and I hung out while Ethan wandered around and took some pictures.

The trees around the pond were changing color and they were really pretty.

On the way back to the car, Erik had had enough of his pack, so Ethan just carried him. I think Erik was just trying to avoid falling asleep and taking a nap.

Friday, December 2, 2011

MSU Adventures

Recently we spent an afternoon wandering around the MSU campus, just enjoying the pretty fall colors and the interesting architecture here. We took tons of fun pictures of all the beautiful buildings and stuff, but I won't subject you to all of them. Here's just a smattering of what we did and saw that day. We forgot to bring a hat for Erik, so we made a bonnet for him out of a burp rag and some bobby pins so his head wouldn't get sunburned. It actually worked pretty well. This is just one of the interesting buildings on the campus. We saw the towers sticking up from a distance and so we wandered over to it to check it out.

Our favorite part of the building was a little detail we noticed as we were walking around the corner of the building to continue on our way. I just had to see what was in there. Lets just say it's not Narnia. What a bummer!

Taking a break for a few minutes. This little guy isn't so little any more and it's pretty exhausting to have him strapped to your front for very long.
Some of our friends in Rexburg told us it was snowing that day, so we took a few pictures of the scenery to show them what our weather was like. The roses blooming everywhere were really pretty.
Ethan has really enjoyed getting to learn about the all the new plants that grow here in Mississippi that we didn't ever see out west. One of these is a pretty common tree around the town here. It's a Ginkgo Bilboa tree. Ginkgo's are one of the oldest plant species on earth, and are present in the fossil record way back into the Early Jurassic period.
We noticed this tree and had never seen or heard of anything like it. I still don't know what the deal is with this one. I think it was a ginkgo, but it had what looked like huge drips running down the branches and trunk of the tree. They were just as hard as the rest of the wood, but looked like they'd once been liquid.

We were walking down the sidewalk outside of the Studen Union building, when we spotted a statue of Bully the Bulldog, the beloved mascot here at MSU. Ethan and I both had the same idea at the same time. People should stop turning us loose with our baby around statues. :)

Now for a taste of Ethan's daily travels around campus. This is Allen Hall, where Ethan has his much dreaded Stats class.
This is the Thompson building where Ethan spends most of his time. The bulk of his classes are located here. This room in the Thompson has something like 20 individual cubicles, each one assigned to a graduate student and is where Ethan spends a good deal of his time.

This little corner is Ethan's home away from home, poor guy.

Well, there's lots more interesting stuff here on the campus, but if you want to see it you'll have to come visit us.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

More pictures of everyone's favorite little guy!

It's sure fun to watch Erik grow and change and start to develop his own little personality. He's still enthralled with his hands. He has started to figure out how to grab things and now is working on getting whatever is in his hands into his mouth.

Did you notice his tongue sticking out in that last picture? He definitly inherited the Clements' family tongue thing. His tongue gets a pretty good work out any time he's having to work at something, and when you're four months old everything takes a lot of work.
Along with getting better control of his hands, one of Erik's biggest goals is tolearn how to sit up by himself. I'll try to prop him up against the couch or a pillow or something, but it doesn't work to well because he wants to be sitting up straight, not leaning against something. He tries to sit up straight and just ends up falling over on his face. We decided to splurge and get him a bumpo seat so he can sit up when he wants to. It's taking him a little while to get used to it, but he's finally starting to like it.
He especially likes it when I leave him in it and then Dad comes and turns on the TV. He’s fascinated by the TV and though I try to keep him away from it, sometimes he manages to sneak in a few minutes of TV time before one of us realizes what he’s doing. We’ll lay him down on the floor without thinking about which way he’s pointed and he’s hooked. This time I left him there long enough to get a few pictures, and then I turned his little seat around, which really made him mad!
At this point you can see that the football game was getting pretty good, just look at Ethan's face. :) Recently, Erik wrote his first letter to his grandparents. We made an extra copy for us to keep because it was so cute!

I'm not sure how much fun Erik had making these, but we sure enjoyed it!

Here's a few random pics for you.