a boy and his dog
assemblage and photography by Curren Ivor – with encouragement from Nona
Constantly on the lookout for a particularly noxious vine which winds around the branches of our lemon trees, rapidly enveloping the entire tree with lovely green foliage and pretty flowers which become large pods containing zillions of air-born seeds…..
I enlisted the help of the four year old in pulling up the new vines in the orchard before they reached the lowest hanging tree branches to begin their ascent into the canopy.
In the process he found the most interesting caterpillar.
Realizing simultaneously: a monarch caterpillar eating the very weed I have been trying to eradicate. Therefore, the weed/vine must be a member of the milkweed family, the only food of choice of the beautifully striped caterpillar; further supported by the fact that the vine ‘bleeds’ white milk when cut.
As little boys love to do, we took the found caterpillar (and a few friends) back to the house with vine seedlings we had pulled. Installing them in a large glass vase with vine, water and a screen over the top, we hoped for the best.
They began attaching themselves to the wire with silk threads
hanging upside down for a few days, then wrapping themselves,
forming a chrysalis of amazing beauty.
About two weeks later – miraculously – a perfect butterfly!!!
into a nearby avocado tree
Godspeed winged beauty!!!
Anticipating a visit from the four year old and his sister I covered the kitchen table with paper and put out colored markers – a big hit at a recent family dinner.
Bits of card stock, taped together in a circle (a bit of size adjustment needed)…some cutting help from Nona, and some lettering by big sister Haven…
Prince Curren was crowned
after more piecing and taping, the following proclamation was being made by the Prince himself:
“Prince Curren is vacuuming the castle”
and so a story book was born:
Four chapters (dictated to Nona, transcribed and illustrated by Haven) in which Prince Curren climbs the castle wall with his arrows and vacuum cleaner, meets Rapunzel, vacuums, dances the tango, falls in love, and marries. The real stuff of fairy tales!!!
such an amazing age… and mind…
When not distracted by his ever-active older sister, my grandson and I have shared quiet times of conversation and interaction. When not in super-hero mode with cape or mask,
he can be quite serious, even pensive.
A warm, humid mid-summer afternoon, the two of us alone in the house; just the opportunity we needed…….would he like to assemble a paper replica of the Carousel in Paris??
Sitting on the arm of my wing chair – he is not a ‘lap’ kind of guy – we put it together, carefully and slowly, one small piece at a time, deciding that one day we would like to travel to Paris to ride together……
Showing him the paper replica of Monet’s home, Giverny
– his sister and I put that one together –
comparing photos in the book to ones taken on my visit to the house and gardens,
“how did you get there, Nona??????”
(more rectangular bushes!!!!!!!!)
Quite sure that my children were equally as remarkable……..I now have time to savor and record (so that I can remember!!) some of my grandchildren’s words:
watching ‘Peter Rabbit’ in the garden with the three year old….
suddenly Peter disappeared…….‘where did he go’ I asked……(very seriously) ‘Nona, I think he went into the…’ (pause – searching for, or not knowing the word hedge), ‘ I think he went into the rectangular bush’.
Returning a sock left behind on his last visit…….(relieved) ‘Oh, I thought it was gone forever!’
On cue, shortly after 6 pm, as though sensing the presence of a special audience, our owls gave a lively performance. The grandchildren loved it – enchanted by their raspy chirping and graceful movements.
Next morning we set out into the orchard with walking sticks
– our own version of Christopher Robin and friends exploring the Hundred Acre Wood.
By discovering clues on the ground (owl pellets), we found the owl’s perch in the oak.
We searched high
and we searched low,
but being nocturnal by nature, the owls are difficult to spot during the day.
…………the joy of seeing God’s creation through the eyes of children……….
Illustrations by E.H. Shepard from The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne