Okay, so I'm way behind in sharing about our nature study outings. Sadly, all the wildflowers here are pretty much gone, the stunning variety of shapes and colors replaced by thistle, more thistle, and the dried up remains of what once was. I'm only sad because I love wildflowers, not because there isn't plenty still to observe and discover -- there certainly is! More about that another day. Today, I'm going back in time a couple months to the near-peak of our wildflower season. A day with lots of color... and some unexpected adventure!
Our day started here, at the water's edge:
The kids spent the first hour collecting frogs. They headed out by themselves along the trail holding the terrarium, and we moms got distracted by the wildflowers.
|larkspur -- new for us this year!|
|young curly dock, I think|
|having trouble identifying this one amidst the million yellow flowers that bloom in our area -- help? |
it looks like a yellow chickory!
|yellow mariposa lily|
We made them release them right away at the pond's edge, but most of them ended up in the water. My friend remarked that it looked like the start of a triathalon. Ha!
They all seemed to be okay in the end and we had a little chat about not over-collecting. Ahem.
Most of the group had to head home at that point, but one friend and I had a little extra time before we had to leave, so we decided to explore a little trail we hadn't been down before. I was pretty sure it looped around toward the lake and then would deposit us back onto our trail down to the parking lot. So off we went, with all the littles in tow. (Yep, wait for it.)
And then we started climbing! The trail was a bit steeper and rockier than we were expecting, but we kept thinking it was almost finished. Did I mention it was in the 90s? For my California kids (and who am I kidding -- for me!), that is hot. But we kept trekking and finally wound up with these views:
We also ended up seeing a lot of new flowers, including two kinds of owl's clover and four kinds of clarkia!
|narrow-leaf flax flower|
|another variety of clarkia|
An hour later than expected, our dirty, sweaty troupe arrived back at the cars -- thankfully with a nice variety of specimens to draw (the silver lining!).
I didn't have my littlest two boys along (they stayed home with Daddy), but I carried my three-year-old for the last half mile. And my friend was wearing her infant and pushing her toddler in the double stroller -- with her older kids' help, thankfully. Did I mention the trail was rocky? Yeah. But we have plans to revisit it on a moms' hike soon.
So does this ever happen to you -- you get a little overeager and pretty soon you're in out of your depth, with your kids along for the ride? And when that happens, do you find your silver lining in new varieties of wildflowers? :)