Our Friday nature walks are always the highlight of my week. And I admit, it is hard to get four kids six and under out the door with proper warm clothing, hats/mittens/boots/etc, snacks, water, diapers…the list goes on. Everyone properly fed beforehand. Everyone to the potty. Getting myself properly attired. Four car seats. Wrapping the baby properly for a long walk. I carry a lot of stuff, including a baby. But I never, ever regret it, and usually, at the end of a long week, it’s what reminds me of why we homeschool in the first place, and helps me be excited for another week of learning with my kids. I think maybe my greatest achievement in our home education (maybe along with their love of books read aloud) is how this has become part of our family culture. They’ve spent time in the beautiful Oregon forests for as long as they can remember. They love it. They notice everything. They love ferns and moss and mushrooms as much as I do. And no matter how many failures I make throughout the rest of the week, I hold on to this little achievement.
I was also thinking today that each of these walks, even though we usually go to the same place every week, is unrepeatable. The kids will never be the same as they are this week, and the forest will never be the same as it is this week. Today was a beautiful combination of a recent rainstorm and a sun break. It was dripping wet, very muddy, and the sun made it all sparkle like diamonds. Today I brought my camera, which I don’t often do, and I love how having it helps me notice all the beautiful little details. That mostly translates into “I took way too many photos of moss, licorice ferns, and rain drops.”
There is some sort of nest at the head of the trail. We don’t know what kind. Do squirrels make nests like this?
Sophia is very proud of herself whenever she stands on top of anything. Even a three inch stump.
I have a serious Thing for licorice ferns.
Every time we go on an outing I try and take a photo of Elisabeth on my front to prove she was there too, with varying results. Selfies with a big DSLR are tricky.
Running back to me because she fell in the mud. Again.
Right at this little arch the forest changes dramatically to the Big Fir forest.
One of Miriam’s favorite fairy castles.