Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Beyond

We did it! We went...Beyond. This is a glimpse of the finger of the lake we were headed around...
We made it all the way to Sunday's creek before stopping for Mother Bars (recipe coming soon!) and strawberries, and a good long wade in the water.  The day was so gorgeous, just us and the birds and the water striders...
Beyond the creek we found the pawpaw trees I had been keeping an eye out for.  They are host plants to the zebra swallowtail, which we have been seeing now for a couple of weeks, but I was surprised to see how few leaves there were on the trees.

We hiked around the other side of that finger of lake, watching turtles splash into the water off a log, looking for more pawpaws and redbuds.  We were headed for a white dogwood in bloom, directly across the water from a spot where we often stop and dabble sticks in the lake.  It was good to have a destination, not knowing what else we were finding there; it kept us going.  Little did we know what treasure would be waiting for  us when we arrived...
I am imagining that she might be there as a part of a geocache, or perhaps she is just someone's gift to the little girls who hike the trail (we certainly thought so!), but in addition to her own loveliness, she is sitting atop a bottle of bubbles.
After sharing our lunch with The Lady of the Lake, we went further beyond! Around the bend, heading now for the other end of the lake, where there is a dam, we passed through this sweet little redbud forest.  Redbuds were an important part of getting Ani to look further down the path...
They taste a little like peas, which she loves, and she picked a few from every tree. It is pretty magical to have tasty flowers to pick and eat along your walk.
Around the bend we started to see these beautiful spring flowers called Fire Pink (they look pretty red to me...). And mud.
When we could see the dam it was difficult to turn around, but by then we had been out for three hours and I knew it could well take us three more to return to the car, so I had us turn around.  Back at the creek, we stayed to play for quite some time. There were water striders to catch, rocks to peruse, and sand castles to build.
We did some grass weaving too.  I loved my big girl sitting on my lap for this one.
We were tired but feeling really good about our day when we made it to the car, six hours later.  It took setting goals for taking breaks, playing for a while when we took them;  it took pretending we were hedgehogs for a while, and then foxes.  It took a couple of pee breaks and time to get muddy and then wet and then dry off.  We probably went about 4 miles today, which is probably the longest the girls have gone in a go.  The girls kept saying how proud Papa would be of us, that we made it so far. Next time we want to hike it with him, and go all the way to the dam...
We did some drawing in nature journals tonight (still not an instinctive part of our outside excursions. We're working on it.), and Ani drew a picture of the phlox flowers she used to top their castle, remembering that there are notches in the petals, and her version of a mayapple (which we saw blooming).  Eliza drew a map of part of the hike.  They are both FAST asleep.  Are you surprised??

5 comments:

J & Reba said...

Awesome!

Merry said...

WOW!!Don't know if I can keep up with all of you!!But I'm willing to try!What a gorgeous day and what beautiful discoveries you made along the way!

debbiedas said...

Wow Debbie. Sounds like the most incredible day! I'm impressed at your knowledge of all the things you found along your hike. That is something I'm working on getting better at.
I'm not surprised your girls are fast asleep. I am surprised you are not. :) -Debbie

Stacy (Mama-Om) said...

Wait -- do you mean it took six hours just to get back (so a total of nine hours)? Or that it took six hours total?

Either way, what a lovely adventure!!

slim pickins said...

Debbie - I have always wanted to know the names of things...I'm still learning what all is around here, and luckily the girls are also interested.

Stacy - lordee, no, it was six hours total!!! although i'll tell you, they were in no way asking to come home, i just knew it might be a struggle if they got too tired - i wanted to end on a good note!