The First Nature Outing of the New Year

Sometimes I don't know what to say . . . a day comes together so well that it leaves me speechless . . . yet it was a regular day with squabbles and frustrations and hurried moments.

These outing days refresh us . . . they refresh me . . . and remind me that God's creations are simply wonder-ful.
Pausing to enjoy some sunflowers before crossing the bridge that led us into the park.

We stopped for a moment to explore some seed pods . . .

and then looked up to discover where they came from.

The excitement on A5's face and the expectant look on H3 simply grab my heart!  I am charmed to remember that she was pointing out how beautiful the sun was glinting off the rippling water.

Blurry of not, she's gorgeous and so proud of her seed finds.

E12 loves to climb anything climbable, and it was only the worried protests of her younger sister that kept her so close to the ground . . . at least that's what I think.  This tree trunk was almost vine-y in how it grew around and was so flexible.  E12 says, "It WAS a vine, Mom."  She's probably right.

A5 was captivated by the coloring of this feather.  She collected lots of feathers on this outing.  I always wonder at the safety of such a habit, but we just try to wash hands well afterward.

"Mom!  There . . . are . . . berries . . . in . . . this . . . tree!"  S10 said as she jumped over and over and over again!

I though J8 was sulking over not getting her way when she plunked herself down on the sidewalk and stayed put.  But she was watching a bug . . .

this bug.  We need to look him up.   J8 asked me to please find an insect field guide.  Okay.

Most of us stopped and got out our sketchbooks and drew this Great Blue Heron. 

But S10 drew this little nest she found and put some seeds into to pretend it had eggs.

And then we just relaxed for a little while.

Sometimes when I look at my oldest daughter I realize that she's really and truly going to become a woman someday instead of always being my harum scarum little girl.

Thank goodness I have lots of daughters still to enjoy in their harum scarum days. :)

We were getting into the van when we found this little guy crawling along at quite a clip across the parking lot.  We all got back out to ooh and aah over him/her.  Another research project for today.

Poor I.9 was soooooo tired.  I thought he'd conk out on our walk, but he spent the whole outing in the backpack happily chirping in my ear and waving at the trees.  He slept an awfully good sleep within seconds of settling into the car.

We had to leave just before noon so that I could keep a visiting teaching appointment, and we were all disappointed, but I realized that sometimes we sacrifice a little in order to serve, and that lesson was perhaps the best lesson of all.


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