I made the most of one summer day, at least. My mom and I took my nephew for a walk in the woods Sunday. We were needing to escape and he was needing to get away from the television, so we headed out. First, we stopped and caught a butterfly with my net and viewed it in our magnifying bucket before setting it free. Then we sat for a few minutes and enjoyed the quiet while my nephew played on the new playground equipment nearby. I started off into the woods planning to take a few pictures while he played but he wanted to go too so we went ahead and took our walk.
We encountered a few bicyclists, all of whom were quite friendly, but mostly had the trail to ourselves. We were probably quite a scene carrying a butterfly net, a magnifying bucket, keys, and a bag filled with bottles of water, a jar for catching fish, a couple of books, paper, crayons, and some small containers in case I found any interesting “specimens”. We found some wild blackberries and picked a few (glad I brought those containers!) and then wandered a bit further into the woods, headed towards the creek. At some point along the way we passed a broken bird’s egg and I placed it in the net until we could stop so I could get a picture. I want to try and identify what species it is.
Finally we got the creek. There was an animal track I got a picture of but I’m pretty sure it was just a dog. I figured I’d get a picture just in case though, right?
The water level was pretty low and there weren’t any big minnows. We happened to spy a tiny tree frog, jumping away from us and into the woods. When we threw a few bits of stale hot dog bun in at a creek on the Natchez Trace a long while back, the fish went nuts for it, jumping out of the water to get it. I’m not sure if it was because these were just a different breed or if it was because they were so small but the fish this day had no interest in the bread. I wound up having to catch them in the net and quickly put them in the jar filled with water so we could get a good look. I got the jar idea from the Amateur Naturalist book I got from the library. He recommended bread as well, so I’ll still try that again at some point. Anyway, I got one from each of the two kinds that we saw in the water.
There were tons and tons of baby periwinkles (though I’m not sure if that’s the right name) too. They just looked like dots on the rocks. My nephew slipped twice, even though he was being good and trying to be careful. Thankfully he wasn’t hurt either time, though the first time especially it took him by surprise.
As we were walking up the hill to go back the way we’d came I spotted something out of the corner of my eye. What the heck was that? I guess it was just a squirrel or something, bounding from one tree to another, I just saw a flash of something. Then as we walked we heard more crashing. This time I saw a flash of white tail. It was a deer! A few more steps and a bit more crashing and we stopped and waited. Sure enough, he not only bounded out of the trees but across the path in front of us. Very, very cool.
I took more pictures and we made the slow trek back to the car. We let my nephew play a bit longer on the playground while we rested. My mom read, and I took pictures of butterflies and tried to get a better look at the wood bees that were buzzing around. We loaded up the car and headed to McDonald’s since the boy wanted french fries and we thought ice cream cones sounded like a great way to cool off.
Now to just make the rest of the summer count, too!