Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tree Slaughter

On a recent jog through the forest, I spotted this sign affixed to tape blocking the path:
In case you're wondering, the top part's in German, bottom in French
 I knew it meant they were doing something to the trees and that entering the area was forbidden, but I'd never seen the word abattage before.  

So I went home to consult my best friend, Google Translate.  And you know what it told me?

abbattage = slaughter!  They were slaughtering trees in the forest!

As much as I love Google Translate, I guess it does have its weaknesses.

(In all fairness, when I entered "abbattage d'arbres," it said "tree felling."  But I like "tree slaughter" better.)

 A few days later, the path was reopened and there were indeed piles of slaughtered trees everywhere.

Victims of the massacre

I must say, Luxembourg does an outstanding job of maintaining--grooming, really--its forests*.  I always see city workers in there, trimming trees, blowing leaves, doing... well, I'm not exactly sure what.  Perhaps this nice display I passed today explains it.

Or maybe not.  Since it's in German, I can't read it.  I guess I could head over to Google Translate... but I think I'll just let it remain a mystery.


*So much so that last year the local news reported that six trees were missing from the forest and the suspects were still at large--which begged the question, how on earth did they notice six missing trees in a forest of millions??  Only in Luxembourg...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Football (Soccer) Tournament

This weekend was Will's first soccer tournament.  He's been playing on a team since October, and to say he's not very enthusiastic about it would be an understatement.  (As it would be to say he's not very athletically gifted in this area. Is that too mean to say about my own son?  The boy is no David Beckham, that's for sure.  It's not exactly surprising, considering his parents...) But it gets him out and running around, burning off some of that insane little boy energy, and in my mind, that's a good thing.

At the tournament this weekend, his team lost all of their matches and ended up in last place.  Well, in all fairness, they tied for last place.  I don't think the boys minded too much.  They had fun hanging around and being silly--something Will does excel at--even if they lacked a common language.

He looks surprised because he didn't know I was taking his picture.  That's the only way to get a shot of him these days! 
That's Will in the front.

Awarding of medals at the end.  Everyone got a medal! 

Will hiding behind his friend after he realized I was taking his picture.

The artwork Kate did on my iPhone during the FOUR hour-long tournament!
I'm of the opinion that kids need to stick with an activity long enough to ensure that they truly hate it -- several months at least -- and then they're free to quit and try something else. So, Will's counting down the months till June when I told him he could stop playing.  But -- shhh, don't tell anyone -- I think he might be having just a little bit of fun.  Not that he would admit it.  It helps that his best friend (who speaks English) is on his team, which has made it much more fun for Will.  It'll be interesting to see if he decides to continue when the time comes!