This last week we had a few blessed days of low humidity and breezy, 80 degree weather. It's the kind of weather that just calls you to come outdoors, not at all typical of a Kentucky mid-summer. Especially this year, we have more than paid for it already in 90+ degree days - something like 35 or 40 so far. I'll be the first to admit that I stay holed up in the AC much of the summer - no heat tolerance here!
So with a weather treat like this, it was a no-brainer for us to pack up our gear and plan a field day last Tuesday. Our neighbors have a huge field with a "grove" of tall trees behind their house, where they allow us to play. If we walk around, it's about 2 blocks from us. (This time we drove.) They have built a gazebo and a picnic shelter back there, and it's just like having a park all to ourselves. Here's a peek at what it's like:
I know. I can't believe how blessed we are here!
So, back to our day...
First we spread our blanket under a shade tree and unloaded the bikes. The sun filtered through the leaves just enough to be pleasant.
I brought a couple of books to read, but truth be told, we didn't read much. Molly and I looked at varieties of corn in The Life and Times of Corn - she loves naming colors right now.
The dogs across the fence were the kids' favorite attraction! Everyone laughed hysterically when the dogs pulled the sticks we offered them through the fence and chewed them up.
We stomped around the field for a while, turning over rocks and collecting big sticks. It got a little hot in the sun, so we came back to home base and had a little scavenger hunt. I gave the kids 4 or 5 objects to find and bring back to me. Very Charlotte Mason of me, don't you think? Here are some of our finds:
Soon we noticed all the insects around us:
The tree trunk swarming with giant ants ...
A lightning bug, up too early...
Honeybees collecting pollen from clover flowers in the grass...
And even a ladybug hiding in the bark of our shade tree...
(I could really use a camera with better zoom these days!)
Next, we went up the hill to the picnic shelter. Here we sat on the swing and watched the neighborhood.We listened to cicadas in the trees, a lawnmower humming, birds singing, and a lazy airplane droning overhead. The sights, smells and sounds were such a throwback to long, aimless days of my childhood summers! I tried to help the kids notice everything.
View from the swing:
And a double self-portrait since Mommy is always hiding behind the camera! (Oops, I think Molly was crying in this one.)
Pretty soon, the kids were digging in the dirt, which is really the goal of any nature outing, right?
As the shadows grew longer, we played with bikes, balls, and kites which did not fly... a little more wind would have helped!
All in all, we called it a great day, and loaded up our loot for the ride home, where we enjoyed...
sweet cold watermelon! I think one of the best things about summer is finding these for under $3... a perfect treat after a day in the fresh air. Thanks for coming along!