In an attempt to slow down and connect with my kids, we’ve instituted Nature Fridays. We’ve been leaving mid-morning and heading to the celery bog nature area for some adventuring and a picnic lunch. The first week we ate lunch, played a few games (red light, green light; duck duck goose), and then went on a short hike on the nature trail. Emily loved looking at the map and deciding where we should go.
The next week we spent a good chuck of time next to the parking lot where a ginormous pile of wood chips provided entertainment. “We are mountain hikers.” Nathan was thrilled to be down and climbing with the big kids. We found a little clearing to eat lunch in and read The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein (a quotable favorite around here right now). Emily and her friends played workers and diligently cleaned leaves off the bridge on our walk.
The nature area is astoundingly beautiful with bright yellow leaves and we just can’t stay away, especially after I missed fall last year. We took Andrew to our new favorite spot on Sunday and went on a long hike through new trails. Emily found a stick for Nathan and I. Andrew had Nathan on his shoulders and stopped at trees for Nathan to hit his stick against, which he loved. We found a giant leaf that was bigger than all our heads. Emily used it with her stick to make an umbrella. Andrew found a little snake just off the path. Halfway through our walk Emily stopped and exclaimed, “There’s a dragon over there.” We asked if he would like to join us on our walk and he answered in affirmative. Emily carefully walked the dragon shaped stick with the back touching the ground so he could walk with us, letting me take a few turns as well. Before leaving the woods, we found a patch of tall grass for the dragon to sleep and found some food for him too. Emily was concerned about her stick and big leaf getting cold, so we laid them down and covered them with a blanket of fallen leaves.
I’ve been leaving the big camera behind so I can truly engage, but I couldn’t resist snapping a few phone pictures.