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Archive for April, 2014

Apr 28 2014

Sharks Teeth

Posted by Mugs @ 10:54 am in Family,Nature,Sightseeing

Last Thursday, we hiked to the beach at Calvert Cliffs State Park in Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay. At this beach, people search for fossilized sharks teeth. The beach is near Flag Ponds State Park where we had gone for my birthday awhile back. We looked for sharks teeth at Flag Ponds, but had no luck.

We hiked the 1.3 mile trail through the swamp to the beach. The day was cool and sunny, and the swamp was just starting to wake up. We saw turtles sunning on logs and heard a few frogs croaking.

The beach was small with a stream draining from the swamp into the bay. There were rocks, fossils, a few shells, but no sea glass. The park ranger told us to watch at the edge of the surf for the sharks teeth to wash in. The teeth look like small black triangles.

This was a difficult task for me, because when I go to the beach, I’ve trained myself to look for colorful shells and rocks. I ignore tiny black objects. I figured since Gabe had the best vision, he had the best chance. I prayed that God would help him find a tooth and He did. Gabe was the first Manry to find a sharks tooth. It’s the one I’m holding in my hand in the photo.

Dale, Abby, and Gabe all stood in the chilly surf picking up bits and looking at them. Their hands and feet were red and raw. I wasn’t willing to get my feet wet for fear of catching a chill, so I scurried back and forth with the waves. Periodically, I would point to something for Abby to pick up.

Abby soon found a good spot and went on a shark’s tooth finding spree. She found four sharks teeth, including a little tiny one. I found several, and in an amazing gift – I nearly stepped on the large tooth before it registered in my brain that I had found the biggest one.

Dale looked and looked and looked and looked and came up empty. He, Gabe, and I found some fossils that we would occasionally toss into the bucket. Dale is the master of finding sand dollars, so maybe switching from round shapes to triangle shapes threw him off his game. Our time finally ran out, and Dale was mopey all the way home.

When we arrived home, I dumped out the bucket onto the front porch table. After awhile, Dale went outside to examine his fossils. While digging through the contents, he discovered an itty-bitty sharks tooth. (It’s the last one in the photo)

So, he found a sharks tooth after all – on the front porch table.

Apr 27 2014

Prize Winning Chili Makers

Posted by Dale @ 3:42 pm in Church,Family

Zeke and I made chili for the church chili cook-off today. After we finished making the chili last night, Zeke had a taste. When I asked him what he thought, he declared “it’s not bad”. So the name of our chili was “Not Bad”. We were awarded first place by the “official” judges and second place in the open voting for People’s Choice.

Apr 25 2014

Overcome – Easter special music

Posted by Dale @ 10:04 pm in Church,Family

Abby, Gabe and I performed this at our Easter service. Mugs asked us to do it again when we got home so she could record it.

Apr 25 2014

Sugarloaf Mountain

Posted by Mugs @ 7:41 pm in Family,Nature,Sightseeing

On Tuesday, we went for a family hike up Sugarloaf Mountain in Maryland. We had the option to hike the entire mountain which tops out at 1282 feet or drive and park near the top and hike the final mile to the peak. I didn’t have an all day hike within me, so I asked Dale to drive towards the top.

Abby remarked, “We’re doing a Brien hike then, not a Kirk hike.”

Our hike difficulties are rated by the types of hikes we went on with our Aussie mates. The Briens are a “hike where you can push a stroller, have plenty of places to take a break, and end with a picnic” type of hiking family. The Kirks are a “go for a bushwalk where you can pan for gold, swim in a pool in a hail storm, climb on a sheer rock face, and eat a small bag of granola” type of hiking family.

The hike, although short, was somewhere between a Brien and a Kirk hike. It had very steep rock steps to the top and a steep downhill section that Zeke had to slide down while seated.

The day was overcast with light rain which kept us cool, and the views were beautiful at the top. Unlike the hikers we passed along the way, we no longer have children we need to carry. As I watched a mom trying to get a toddler to keep going and a dad with a curly headed baby in a backpack, I thought, “our curly headed baby is about to graduate from high school.”

Dale and I have been hiking since we met (initially, the hikes were termed road marches). We hiked in California and Nevada during our honeymoon. In Germany, we did a volkesmarch most weekends. In Colorado, we hiked in the mountains and foothills with babies in backpacks. In Hawaii, we hiked to the waterfalls. In Australia, we went on bushwalks.

Throughout our years together, there have been large gaps of time where we did not hike. Thankfully, each time we get back on the trail, the familiarity of us walking together through the woods brings with it the peace of sharing a path for 28 years.

Apr 21 2014


Posted by Mugs @ 7:31 pm in Nature

My dogwoods are lovely trees all year, but I especially love when they bloom. Yesterday, I sat underneath my white dogwood and admired its creamy blooms against the blue sky. My red dogwood is in the front, and it is very pretty now and also at Christmastime when Gabe wraps it in lights.