I could feel the difference in the kids’ energy today, but nevertheless, we still found plenty to hold our interest and engage our senses. We took the ridge trail for the first time and checked to see if my toad friend was visible in her tree cavity, but she was nowhere to be seen. I am hoping the fire across the path didn’t harm her. Perhaps she is only buried deeply in her leaf-litter soil den.
We followed the ridge trail past what I call, “the labyrinth,” a place where acres of trees lie toppled by some wind from years past. I shared stories of adventures I’ve shared with my dogs in that area. It is too overgrown in summer to take the kids in, but it is great fun to tunnel around in the winter.
Most of our time was spent at the frog swamp, though today there weren’t many frogs in view. Most of the kids were in a social mood, wanting to sit together on logs and rocks to eat their snacks and be silly together. A few of us undertook the task of building a small bridge to our mossy, willow island where G. found a place to sit with his awesome frog net and bucket.
I love that as I hang out with the kids in various groupings we chat about all kinds of things. Sometimes it is a learning moment occasioned by something we notice or wonder. Other times they are sharing with me about past adventures they have had or something they are looking forward to. I always get a kick out of their, “what ifs,” and today was no exception. “What if this actually was a magic portal and we stepped in and it took us to the other swamp or another dimension?”
B. and E. climbed one of the big maples and found ways to bring their snack up with them. I climbed part way up but decided to forgo their more daring branches since I needed to be able to get to the ground quickly if anyone needed me. Not to mention, my swamp boots are not conducive to climbing and I am more mortal these days than I used to be.