Saturday, August 22, 2009

Day 2.224: Sufjan, newt and the underground lakes

Most journeys get under way to a chorus of "Songs, songs!" from E5N1 and often the girls too. In general he wants They Might Be Giants (123s and ABCs both currently in the car) which is fine by me but sometimes I need a change, so they downgrade their request to "Daddy's songs?". Often over the last week, "Daddy's songs" has meant Sufjan Stevens' Illinois. It's one of those albums that I like more each time I hear it. Current rating: wonderful!

This morning we drove an hour or so west and went for a morning walk in the woods. Exile #4 was the first to spot these two-inch long salamanders. There were loads of them, but I suspect we could have walked past and over them without noticing them. It turns out that they are the terrestrial juvenile form (eft) of the red-spotted newt - curiously these creatures start their lives as tadpoles and finish them as aquatic adults, but in between are like this.


We also saw some Eastern Bluebirds for the first time in about two years. After that, we visited Howe Caverns where we went on a cool (literally and figuratively) walk through the limestone caves followed by a boat ride on a 43°F lake two hundred feet below the ground.

Once again, three generations of the family had a good time. Tomorrow is our last day of undivided activities, before I return to work. As Sufjan says, "All things go, all things go."

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