Today at lunchtime, Dennis and I walked over to Moe’s Deli. We took the long way round because it was about 70 degrees outside, and nothing short of a gorgeous spring day. I kept my eye out for blooms and did see a red maple (Acer Rubrus) in bloom – first one of the year.

When we got to Moe’s, this overly enthusiastic woman came out to meet us saying, “Welcome to MOE’S 50th birthday celebration!” She continued, “We have FREE BIRTHDAY CAKE, and after you make your purchase, you can SPIN THE WHEEL and WIN A PRIZE!” She sounded something like a morning radio host, and indeed, that’s exactly what she was. I never listen to morning radio shows because I find them so annoying. But Dennis does, and recognized her by her voice (the “Morning Buzz” car parked in the lot probably didn’t hurt either).

I looked at the prize wheel. About the only thing on there I really didn’t want was the Whoopie Pie, so of course, that’s where the spinner stopped. Oh well. Then the Morning Buzz girl gave me a scratch-off lottery-style ticket. Scratch off six squares that say “Moe’s” and win $50,000. I didn’t win that. Then there was the consolation prize, which was a free small bag of chips. I took a picture of Dennis with Miss Radio Star and emailed it to him.

I held onto the “lotto” card until I got back to the office, and then a nefarious idea popped irresistibly into my head. I would put the card in the change dish in the kitchen. That’s where we deposit money when we take snacks out of the snack basket (40 cents a pop). The basket has chips in it. I had no intention of using the lotto ticket to pay for chips – I just wanted to make Joan think I had. Of course it’s all fun and games until someone’s blood pressure shoots through the roof and dies of a heart attack.

When I got home I toured the catchment pond. It’s still full of mosquito larvae, water striders, and frog spawn. It may have been my imagination, but the larvae seemed less energetic today. Maybe the dunks are slowing them down already. Or maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part. I checked my frog spawn, and then found another wad of it. This one is most definitely newer than the first. It was under a leaf at the edge of the water, but it had a much greater proportion of jelly in it than the original clutch. Then I found a third one, but it was on the bank. The waterline has been receding rapidly and stranded this clutch. I don’t know if the eggs die if they hatch on the bank, but I’m assuming they will. I almost tossed them back in the water but thought it better to not interfere.

I found four more trailing arbutus plants whose blossoms had opened too, and I took several photos – nothing spectacular. Then I invited Beth to grab her camera so we could walk the trail and see if there was anything to photograph. She took several pictures, but I haven’t looked at them yet. I do know she got one of a shelf fungus colony growing on an oak sapling. I assume that sapling will probably die soon, as I don’t think healthy oaks support huge colonies of fungi. I’ll keep an eye on it.

Penny bathing in a vernal pool

Penny bathing in a vernal pool

While we were in the woods, Penny flopped down in another vernal pool. We’re going to have start scolding her for that in an effort to get her to stop. Because earlier today when she did that, she came in raining mud water all over the linoleum and was headed for the carpet before Va intercepted and ejected her from the house. She had the boys wash her down. They couldn’t get the hose attached to the outside faucet, so instead the carried her up to the bathtub. Didn’t use dog shampoo (or any other form of soap) though. Just water. And they griped about it too. C’mon guys! We don’t want to live in a mud hole! Don’t gripe about that!