Yesterday we went back to the beaver dam, me keeping anxious eyes on one aging dog, one utterly unpredictable younger dog (both adopted from the pound, both something resembling black labs), one five-year-old. The project was to find the bouncy log we used as a balancing act some months ago, and maybe some wildflowers to press. The pussy willows were exploding, the beavers had been busy, the water was high, but not so high I had to be worried when the dogs jumped in. The five-year-old needed to pee, but was too embarrassed to crouch behind a clump of grass or willows. We sat down in a shady patch and ate our snacks. She peed. We turned back, made slow progress because there was a possibly dead butterfly, newly hatched--or whatever butterflies do--on the trail, and maybe if it was really really dead we could take it home and show Mummy (who is in Nashville loading in her set for the country music awards). Horrified I was at the idea of not letting it go on a blade of grass, but who was I to argue with a five-year-old at the end of her day and my tether? We let it go, we brought back wildflowers, two yellow, one white, as yet unidentified. We brought back a large branch sharpened to a pencil point by a beaver. Intermittently I remember it and think I must go and get it out of the back seat of the car, under the car seat, with assorted shoes and hats and water bottles and half-eaten snacks.