Ye Olde Worlde Fun

When spring comes around, our family starts thinking of flowers, bunnies, butterflies … and turkey legs! That means Renaissance Fair time!  The whole family headed out a few weeks ago with our good friends, Sue and Deuce and family, to enjoy bread bowl stew, high flying street acrobats, and jousts to the death!  Here are some of the sights we came across.

The biggest attraction of the Ren Fair for the kids, of course, are the rides!  So we started off small with a butterfly ride for the little one of our bunch.

Unfortunately for the big kids, the butterflies were not able to accommodate them . . .

Lucky their disappointment was short-lived thanks to the wooden jousting horse.

Next came the ship ride – a family favorite!

This ship ride is a big human-powered swing.  Even though these ships have some ropes and pulleys hooked up to allow the riders to keep the swing going, somebody still has to get them swinging in the first place, and that involves muscle!  To that end, there are some hard-working young men standing by to make the swings work.  Make no mistake – if you think they just stand around collecting money, just take a look at these images of our guy working hard to get a swing with 5 kids in it going at maximum speed, and I think you’ll agree they earn their wages!

It took him a good dozen or so pushes of this whole-body variety to get the swing going this high, and as you can see, his efforts were very much appreciated . . .

Having sailed the Seven Seas and sated our thirst for adventure, it was time to sit down and be entertained.  Gotta love those acrobats and, of course, the legendary (and very politically incorrect) Ded Bob!

Nothing like a little horseplay between angry knights to accompany your lunchtime meal.

By this time, everyone was ready for a nap.

Following the afternoon siesta came more miscellaneous shopping and sightseeing, including henna tattoos, parasols, orange ice balls, and chocolate covered strawberries!

Deuce wanted to do a little shopping of his own, but he couldn’t decide whether he should go Conan or Dragonslayer.

So he settled for buying the elusive pretzels for himself and my little K, the two pretzel fanatics in the bunch.  We don’t call these the elusive pretzels for nothing – they are everywhere when you don’t want them but nowhere to be found when you do.  It took Deuce searching high and low over half the entire loop of the village before he found these.  Notice he got an extra.  After that much searching, he wasn’t about to waste the opportunity to buy his fair share of dried up salty bread.  Oh, sorry.  I meant yummy, delicious, fresh (cough cough) baked pretzels.

The kids ended their day with the biggest thrill ride of them all.  Even though this looked like extreme fun, we adults were happy to stand and watch … and keep our lunches in our tummies where they belonged.

And that ended our annual trip to the Renaissance Fair.  Until next year, fare ye well!

 

 

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Urban Baby Owls – 4/7/12

Urban baby owls.

 

Metro Phoenix Area Urban Jungle – it’s an obvious place to find baby owls nesting, right?  :-)  Ha!  Fortunately, a good friend of mine tipped me off to the presence of these beautiful little guys within easy reach of a camera, and I was able to snap these off.  Even managed to catch one of Mama Owl perching watchfully in a nearby tree.

Mama Owl watching from a nearby tree.

 

These guys have had an exciting few weeks growing up in the Big City.  The story goes that there originally were three owls in the nest (don’t worry, the third one is alright).  However, they had all grown so huge that the third baby was bumped from the nest, ostensibly while jockeying with his brothers/sisters for space.  Fortunately, he was able to flap his wings enough to slow his fall and arrive at ground level unharmed.  Nearby onlookers were able to contact fish and game to come pick up the little guy.  Game and fish was careful to explain to everyone that the reason they were not putting the baby owl back in the nest was NOT because of the myth that the scent of human contact would cause Mama Owl to attack the baby, but rather simply because there was no room and he would invariably be bumped out again.  The nest appeared to be sufficient for the two remaining babies, and they would care for baby #3 until it was ready to be released into the wild.

Nearly ready to leave the nest.

 

I was very fortunate to grab these shots, as you can tell from the size of these guys that they’re getting ready to leave the nest in a few days.  Kudos to the caring onlookers for contacting fish and game for the third baby and to everyone for leaving these guys be as they grow up in this unlikely place.  I wonder if they’ll develop a taste for fast food thanks to their childhood in the city?  After all, being owls, they already have the night life thing figured out!  :-)

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