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Jun 23, 2014

Over the Creek and Through the Woods

Off we went, my daughter and her 4 children and I on a nature walk; a little amble in the woods, to a nature preserve nearby. This nature area includes lake, meadow, and woods. And since the morning was rather hot and humid we preferred to stay in the shade taking the paths through the woods. We even crossed a little bridge over a little creek, a very little creek.

The kids were pretty excited to go and the 2 older ones, Mr A who is 10, and Miss B who is counting the weeks until she turns 9 (only 6 more weeks!) brought their nature journals. Mr C who is counting the days until he turns 6 (only 8 more days!) didn't have a nature journal, which is probably just as well. He didn't stop long enough to even see much of nature, let alone do any journaling. Instead he took the opportunity to run and run and run and see how far ahead he could get before being told to stop and wait until everyone else arrived where he was at. Every so often we would call him to come look at something that we found interesting and he'd run back, glance at it for maybe 5 seconds, smile and nod, and take off running again. The baby, Mr D, who is 15 months old sat happily in the stroller and smiled, at least initially.

I reminded everyone that they could not remove anything from any plant or along the path. Absolutely no flowers could be picked, no leaves could be pulled off of trees, and besides that the woods had poison ivy! So beware! (Note to self....educate yourself more in depth on poison ivy identification so next time you can point out the exact plant) And stay on the path at all times!

Miss B was very into this nature walk. In fact, she kept her eyes wide open and pointed out more discoveries than all the rest of us put together. She was the one who found the first mushrooms along the path, the acorns and other nuts and seeds. And as soon as she would find something that she took a fancy to she would sit down, pull out her journal, and begin sketching.


Perhaps a butternut? found by Miss B along the path. We saw quite a few as we walked along.

Eventually, we convinced her to just write down what she was seeing and she could sketch it later, since I would be taking pictures with my phone. (Note to self...bring a camera next time!) Remember we had to keep Mr C in our sights (he was practically around the next curve!) so we couldn't linger too long in one place.

Mr A didn't seem all that interested until he found the first spider. Oh my! Wasn't this one a beauty! Such long legs!


And another one, 


and another one. 


There were spiders almost everywhere we turned.

Mr. D was beginning to get bored, as well as tired, and was letting us all know that he'd had enough of this nature walk so we turned around and headed back. 

Was it just me, or were we walking uphill on the way back?  Funny that we didn't notice we were going downhill on the way out!

Miss B and I lingered behind and we found some interesting shaped leaves. I tried to locate the plant below in my field guide but came up with nothing that matched. Does anyone have any idea what it is?


We probably only stayed about 30-40 minutes. Not bad for a first nature walk together. There was no agenda, no goals other than exploration, and for Mr. C it was a time to run off some energy. No matter. I'm sure the day will come when he will slow down and find something to call our attention to. 

When we got back to my house we went into the backyard to look at the milkweed growing along my back fence, hoping to find some of the bright red milkweed beetles that live on it. While we were searching for the beetles, Mr C sat down in front of our raspberry bushes happily eating raspberry after raspberry. Well that got our attention! Once we realized what he was doing we joined him.

What a delicious way to end a nature walk!

9 comments:

  1. Sounds you like it was a great nature walk! And what a nice way to end the day with eating fresh raspberries. We bought some raspberries at the store yesterday; but I bet they aren't as good as eating some freshly picked!

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  2. Hi Karen, It is true that fresh picked raspberries are IT! Several times I've tried to pick some and bring them into the house but I never made it! They were just too good. And besides what can you do with a small handful of raspberries anyway? Except eat them...

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  3. I can see how it would be rather difficult to make it to the house with a handful of fresh raspberries. LOL
    I'm planning to use the raspberries I bought at the store yesterday for yogurt parfaits. Mix yogurt and granola together and top with fresh raspberries. I really like fresh blueberries and granola mixed into yogurt too.

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  4. What a lovely outing! Children always see things that the grown-ups are too busy to notice. And I agree, fresh raspberries, warm from the sun, are the best!

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    Replies
    1. Somehow I missed your comments Lili! It is amazing what children see that we adults miss altogether.

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  5. Lovely post. I just got my eldest (6) his first nature journal, and he is very keen to use it. What a joyous way to learn about the world around us!

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  6. Thanks for stopping by Nelleke. It is so much fun to watch our children (and grandchildren) appreciate nature and want to record it in a nature journal, isn't it?

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  7. Tolkien was right!
    “It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

    A friend and I committed to walking a nearby wildlife refuge every week. Two years into it, God gave us a Charlotte Mason style school.

    Keep on walking!!!

    What a lovely post!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Walking...What a great thing, walking the wildlife refuge. Do you cover the same ground every week or are you rotating the areas? There are numerous trails at this nature preserve so we could go a number of times and see different scenery. I hope we can go back to this place once a month. That's the plan anyway... Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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