Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fall Hikes

Have you ever had that itch to get away in nature, whether it's the woods, beach or desert? I don't mean a feeling of wouldn't it be nice, but a deep, deep need to feel, see, smell and even taste the natural world. That's how I was feeling a few weeks ago.

We hadn't gone on a hike or walk or somewhere not surrounded by other houses, cars or people in a while, and I was deeply missing that. And I'm pretty sure the kids were, too. Now, they didn't ask me to go out to the woods on their own, but when I said we hadn't been in awhile, they jumped at the idea. Alexa even reminded me the first thing the following morning.

It's amazing how kids, and for that matter most everyone, changes when you are surrounded by the beauty of nature. For my kids, it raises their energy up another notch. They run faster, climb higher, smile broader and scream louder, but all in a delightful, joy-filled way.

And the thing that gets me the most giddy? To know we can have this anytime we want to. There's no school, or homework or other shoulds to get in the way. I know some people can point to kids who attend school who also have some time in nature during the day, too. My own brother-in-law teaches science at a private school, and I hear all about how much the kids love to run outside catching bugs and finding out about them. And I don't doubt for a minute that a lot of those kids do love his class. Here's the problem. By the time they really get into it, they have to stop what's they're doing and trudge off to another subject. There's no bug-catching for the entire day, let alone week if they really want to. There's no deep immersion, even if they do get a whole month of it in his class. To not ever have to worry about that.......it's priceless, beyond words.

We found this fallen bird's nest among our many discoveries today and .....

...this skull. If anyone has any idea what it might be, let us know. We were thinking a coyote. A few days later we were watching a National Geographic IMAX movie about Prehistoric Predators, which we became interested in after reading the 7th Magic Treehouse book Sunset of the Sabertooth (Magic Tree House, No. 7). They showed the skulls of some wolves, which looked very similar to our skull.

We went with Steve to this same spot a week later. We miss him so much on our many adventures so it's always special to bring him to some of our favorite spots. What are some of your special spots in nature to explore?


Stephanie said...

I get that way.
An almost frantic need for being and seeing and tasting, as you said.
I remember last winter we were walking and I had to strip off my gloves and touch things. It was vital.

Lynn B said...

We are on the outskirts of the city but still in a busy area, schools, shopping etc. There's one road just 1/2 a block from our house that makes me feel like we're in the country - I just love walking there - trees, ponds, even horses! It's like my secret place in the city. I know what you mean.

Those trees are amazing!! My kids would LOVE them. Do you know what they are?

Chris said...

Actually I don't. There were a lot of acorns lying around. I had meant to look it up when we came home, but you know how it is sometimes!