Today saw Exile #4's first proper visit to school - a half-morning with half of her class. She had a great time, meanwhile the parents were asked to stay on hand in case of tears. As expected I was not needed giving me full chance to engage with the side-activity - we experienced a 'morning meeting' such as the older kids in the school have in which we were asked to talk to another of the parents and then introduce them to the group. I was shunned by parents to either side of me and ended up talking to a nineteen-year-old Swedish Au pair - sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.
After we had dragged Exile #4 away from the play area at school and driven home, we packed some lunch and set off to one of our nearest, but as-yet unvisited State Parks, at Peebles Island. By the time we had eaten our lunch, the temperature had passed 90°F but we decided that we should still have a look around. With Exile #3 in a backpack and E5N1 in a carrier, my parents, myself (with Exile #3) and Exile #2 (with E5N1) set off. Within five minutes, Exile #2 wisely decided that trying to walk in the sunshine in the early afternoon on a very hot day with E5N1 in a baby carrier was not sensible and elected to wait in the shade. The rest of us carried on and were rewarded by glimpses of interesting birds (including a Pileated Woodpecker), some woodchucks, evidence of waterfalls (well rapids anyway) albeit largely dry at the moment. However, the main experiences were the extreme heat and humidity. Exile #4, possibly getting delirious, at one point started singing Frosty the Snowman over my shoulder.
Oh yes, the picture - Day 236 - the mysterious trails in the sand in the shallow water were being made by these clams. They were half-buried with the opening downward and obviously moving through the sandy lake bottom leaving these trails - some (like those below) straight, some (like the one I posted that day) very knot-like.