Monday, November 03, 2008

An Evening in the Country

Clermont Northeastern Middle School has one seriously dedicated teacher. Melody, a science teacher I did a program for last month is a True Believer. She believes that Nature can reach children, that a classroom outside can dig into those digitally-addled brains of theirs and create beauty. She has begged and borrowed and worked hard to preserve the school's 150 acres of woodland...she has fought to keep their pond. She has behooved the PTA to help build a bird blind, made into a reality by an Eagle Scout.
She brought me in with our birds of prey, to inspire and awe her kids into looking up and realizing that there is more to life than video games and IM'ing.

She also brought in the heavy guns....The Zick.
Julie did an all day program for the school. I can't wait to hear how she was able to command and inspire 500 middle schoolers.

And Julie brought a small yet powerful ally:
Chet Zick

Chet Baker was the surprise guest at the dinner last night. I have to brag....when he saw me, he broke into big time BT wiggles and roo'ed at me.
It might be because I always bring him treats. Always. But since I had no idea he would be present, I had to improvise.

Chet waits for lasagna
"Thank yew for nibbles of your cheesy, meaty lasagna. It will give me gas, but it suits Mether right. She doesn't give treats like you do. I am bored with Mether."

For the record, Bacon was kind enough to regale everyone later with his Lasagna-scented Gas.

We met up at Nina's for wine and yummy snacks.

"Please pour that wine. The more you drink, the less you will pay attention to me eating all the hors d'ouvres."
Chet Wine
(Wine lovingly poured by KatDoc)

Nina had found a baby black rat snake earlier in the day, and being the Nature-Loving Fool she is, she saved it in a terrarium on the back porch.
"The Girls are coming! I can show them this cute little snake!"

See how we think? Others might want to show off their new stemware. Or grandchildren photos. Not us. We want to see reptiles.

And speaking of Kathi....I think she has a mind to get her own sponsorship.

Kathi and her sponsorship snake

Tell the truth. Did you look at the snake first? I didn't, either.
: )

Now. Confession time. In addition to bears and bridges, I have an anti-fondness for cold-blooded creatures. Okay,'s a fear. Give me a big red-tailed hawk or a brawny great horned owl, I'm fine. I am love, really. But a slithery, cold snake makes me do full body shivers.
Everyone was passing this thing around, and only mildly ribbing me about my aversion. I snapped out of my ickiness and said, "Julie, give me that snake."

She helped me take hold of it, but of course by then, it had warmed up enough from everyone else's hands and instead of being a docile wet noodle, it wanted to get away. Up my shirt. Julie was good enough to take it away.
Snake jewelry
It was a pretty snake. Looks nice with my beaded jewelry, doesn't it?

Bacon was not into the snake. He had found the calmest lap in the room and promptly went to sleep.
Nina Chet


Julie Zickefoose said...

What an utterly adorable post. It was so terrific to see you, and I didn't really mind your temporary kidnap of The Bacon. It was Share Baker Day. I can't tell you what fun it was to see you, Katdoc, Nina and Anton, and watch Bacon go from lap to lap.

I am liquid with exhaustion after my 9-hour day at the middle school, and wondering how you do it?!?

Kin I get a copy of that picture of me and The Bacon? You done good!

Gallicissa said...

Sorry, I didn't look at the snake first either.

Lynne said...

What snake?
Did Kathi stick a buckeye in there?

Susan Gets Native said...

Photo fixed. Save away!
Hard to tear your eyes away to even look at the snake, ain't it?
: )

KatDoc said...

Susan! You are BAD I was so NOT trying to get anything from anybody with that top - I wore it because it showed off the necklace you made for me.

(Lynne: Did you see your pin?)

~Kathi, blushing and looking for a turtle neck

NCmountainwoman said...

Three cheers for Melody!!! How wonderful that she brings nature into the classroom.

Looks like everyone had a lot of fun. Great pictures.

Mary said...

That photo of Bacon at the dining room table, peeking from the bottles of wine is CLASSIC. I love that one!

Who's cleavage is that?

Tina said...

Bringing nature into the classroom is a wonderful way to teach! Seeing, hearing and touching (?) will leave a lasting impression and hopefully create conversations and neat questions...much more than reading text about it will! Kudos to you!!

donaldthebirder said...

Nice that the times are changing. I was told by my teachers that I needed to be more into sports and stop wandering off during gym class to go birding. My teachers told my parents that they should discourage my nature - related hobbies in place of traditional sports.

bruss1510 said...

Wow - Kathi has it going on! Who paid any attention to the snake after seeing that? Way to go KatDoc!


RuthieJ said...

A fun evening with 2-legged and 4-legged friends! Life doesn't get much better than that!

note to self: bring v-neck shirt to West Virginia for "birding bloggers cleavage contest" :-D
(buckeyes optional)

LauraHinNJ said...

No fair Ruthie... I will sooo lose that contest!

RuthieJ said...

LOL - no worries Laura - you can have the exalted position of a fair and impartial judge!