I remember when the book Last Child In the Woods was released. I read it that very week even though me reading that book is like preaching to the choir. The parents who really need to read that book probably don't! Still, I liked the term "nature-deficit disorder" and I've used it often in the years since. You can trust me, it doesn't apply to my kids. I take Clara out for walks/hikes a few times each week. It's time I treasure, for so many reasons. I don't often take my camera with me because I want to be fully present for her (I often regret this when we see something wickedly cool, like snakes!). This afternoon was one of the rare occasions where the trusty camera joined us....
One thing I love about taking Clara in the woods is how it helps her developmentally. I do also love playgrounds and think they're important but they are predictable places ~ the equipment is always in the same place and the surfaces are more or less level. In the woods she has to contend with tree roots, rocks, fallen sticks, leaf piles, puddles, dips, hills, etc. She has to pay attention and walk carefully or she'll end up flat on her face. Clara's quite steady for a 14-month old and usually has no problems at all.
Every once in a while, she'll stop in her tracks to contemplate something, I usually stand back and watch to see what it is.
When there are low branches, Clara loves to stop and play with the leaves.
I love hardwoods in this area. Looking up at the tall canopy always makes me feel enveloped and safe.
Ooh, how Clara loves ants. She always squats down to get a good look.
Clara always seems drawn to this fallen log. Now and then she'll climb on and over it.
I love seedpods, especially this type. Is this from a hickory tree? I'm not sure. But I love the thickness of the shell on these. I remember collecting them when I was young.
I often find Clara doing this. Looking for falling leaves. Sometimes airplanes. Many times birds. Always holding on to something for support!
I just love tree bark.
This tree is ambitious.....
Has anyone else on Earth seen the movie Touched By Love starring Diane Lane? It was based on the book, To Elvis, With Love. The movie is from 1980 and it used to play a lot on HBO. I can't tell you how much I loved that movie when I was young. I'd watch it over and over again. In one scene, Diane's character, a young girl with Cerebral Palsy, is playing outside with an old tree stump. The details are a little blurry but she's pretending it's a house or a town and she decorates it with items found in nature. I think of that scene a lot when I come across an interesting tree stump. The one above was just amazing! (If anyone else has seen that movie, please write and tell me!!!!)
We found a friend on today's walk.....Ollie.....and Clara kept trying to run through the woods with him.....although it was hard to keep up!
It was sunny and warm this afternoon ~ an amazingly beautiful Fall day ~ so happy to share it in the woods with my baby girl.