No grief, please. I know it’s been a loooong while since we completed Outdoor Hour Challenge #1. And I’ll admit that I didn’t see the immediate value since we’re outside so very much already… However. I now KNOW the value.

Our family is stopping. We need to stop. We’re foregoing gymnastics and dance and football and fall baseball. We’re stopping. The only regular events on our calendar will be piano, scouts, and crafting. We need to stop. We’re exhausted. We are ALL exhausted. I need to stop. I am stopping. And I could not be happier.

While we’re stopped, we’re going to learn to be quiet. We are a loud family. Too loud. We’re going to learn to be quiet. We’ll learn with golf, tennis, handwork, and nature walks. Not our typical rowdy hikes in the woods – of which we do many – but calm, serene, observant walks.

I’d be lying if I said this walk was quiet. It started out quiet. But it did not last. And that’s OK. We have to learn to be quiet.

Heading towards South of the Fork Creek

And we will. In due time.
There’s something about the crunch of the sticks and leaves and the whish-whoosh of the boots and even the soft cries after a stumble that with one child are precious and sweet, but with five can be like a siren scaring off all wildlife. But we’ll learn.
As we made our way through the woods we did see, hear, and feel. The creekbed was dry from a dry, hot summer even after the weekend’s 1.25″ of rain. We could see the trace of a sudden onslaught of water since the water arrived all at once. The sediment was well beyond the rolling rocks of the bed and mangled sticks and hay and dead Japanese stilt grass were collected in beaver-worthy dams over tree roots.

Dry creekbed along South of the Fork Creek

With complete honesty, I really only heard boots shuffling… Whish*Whoosh*Whish*Woosh* And I did hear lots of trees and leaves and even a deer skeleton crunching. And, yes, lots of excited voices. Only one was different. One was deeper and more determined. And leading our pack… It was Reade. He is a leader. And he does well.

Choosing the best walking stick is important.

Leading our adventure

And he has a young apprentice watching his every move. And I am all good with them doing the leading because I am there to help when help is needed.
But I don’t take myself too seriously… If Mother Nature gets to have a sense of humor, then I can, too. (PS – This very non-flattering shot taken by an 8 year old is proof I am not a dedicated blogger!)

If Mother Nature can have a sense of humor, so can this Mother...

What did we feel? Well, when it was all said and done and we were sitting at the table on the deck working on a journal entry, we all felt happy. The hour roaming our woods made us happy. Yes. We saw, heard, and felt nature… But more importantly we felt happy to be together with no other agenda. Even if it was loud.

Sweet ducks all in a row

Showing us a spider on which I could never quite focus.

No Fear

Dead Cicada. Very popular.

Big sisters look after Little sisters

A live cicada, surprisingly not as popular as the dead one...Go figure!

A favorite tree with swings... in a dry creekbed.

Our next album cover.