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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sunday in the Woods

My dad built a log cabin. What a short sentence to sum up the work this took! He chose a beautiful setting, surrounded by sugar maples, birch, and oaks. My favorite time of year to visit the log cabin is in the fall.

In fact, I think my favorite time of year is the fall. The change in the weather, the leaves, back to school, the way I cook after a summer of grilling-- I love it all.

Every year, we make a special trip to the cabin to celebrate my son's birthday. We spend the day with his best friend, hiking through the woods, walking on the country road picking "agates" (to them every pretty rock is a treasure!), and trying to spot critters. This year, was an unseasonably warm day, but the leaves were glorious.

We saw a Bald Eagle hunting, an amazing bright green tree frog, a Shamrock Orb Weaver Spider. We collected giant fern leaves, discovered mushrooms in amazing colors of pink and yellow, and were able to get up close and personal with a tree that a black bear had been scratching on.

The kids were able to shoot a pellet gun, setting up elaborate targets. They climbed trees, got dirty, knocked over dead trees, lifted giant logs searching for salamanders, and just generally enjoyed the outdoors. They picked up garbage off the road from careless passerbys and identified many animal tracks (some, I even think they got right!) It got me thinking about the number of kids who never get to see and experience a woods or grandpa's farm or spend a day out in nature. And, while thinking of this, and watching the sheer joy and smiles on the boys' faces, it made me just a little sad.

As cities grow larger and families become busier, will many children grow up nature deprived? Will they have no thought for our green spaces and before we know it, will the importance of the outdoors be lost on a generation? Something to think about. I know there are books written about this, but the reality of it really hit home this weekend.

Enjoy the pictures!

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