Over the years, my husband and I have found that both of us and both of our children find great serenity while immersed in nature. It is the thing that centers us and renews us. And, to that end, we decided that it is of greatest importance that we spend some time in nature every weekend. The daily stresses and sensory overload that we encounter during the school/work week dissolve as we step into nature.
Last weekend, we used our nature escape to say goodbye to summer and to welcome autumn. It was a very warm day for the end of September, but the breeze was delicious and the morning sun was beautiful filtering through the treetops.
Our plan was to hike all morning and stop at 10:49am to say goodbye to summer and to welcome autumn. This wasn’t my idea. This wasn’t my husband’s idea. The two kids. It was all them.
But as we hiked, we encountered some very cool wildlife and sights. The first was an eastern box turtle, quickly identified by my fabulous husband. He loves all things reptilian.
When we stopped hiking at 10:47am to say goodbye to summer, we were in a dried creek bed, exploring what might be found in such a spot. Here we came upon a little frog. If you look closely at the back end of the frog (is it a pickerel frog?), there is a small orange-red protrusion. We assumed it was an egg sac, but as we were unsure, please feel free to comment the correct answer, if you know! WE would love to know. Another amazing hiking find.
At this moment, our children each took a turn saying a tearful goodbye to summer, one blowing a kiss and one giving an air-hug. It’s always said that we can learn so much from our children. Living in the moment is one of the greatest of these lessons. And there it was again as they cheered a welcome to fall.
And we continued on our hike. My favorite nature find that day, although kind of gross, was this owl pellet. For anyone who doesn’t already know, when an owl eats, it digests what it can of the creature it has eaten and then throws up the bones, fur and whatever else it cannot digest. These are known as owl pellets. We had never discovered one on our own, so this was pretty exciting for us!
It was an amazing day. One I won’t soon forget. We hiked for TWO HOURS with a nine-year old and a six-year old!! I witnessed my children’s intense sentimentality, and we all came away from it centered, contented and ready to face the week. What an amazing escape.