When I was growing up, our summers were unscheduled - hours of lying around watching The Beverly Hillbillies and The Price is Right were muddled amongst the many, many hours we spent exploring the creek in our neighborhood. I always imagined raising my kids in the same type of neighborhood - suburbs with woods & a creek, convenient but close enough to nature. And when we moved to our last house, that was basically what we had, only to get to the creek you had to walk pretty far, and through a not-so-hot neighborhood, and it was right next to a major highway... So creek walks didn't really happen.
Last weekend, though, Andrew cleared a path to our very own creek, which actually has water in it after a week of nonstop rain!
And it's basically the only place anyone ever wants to go. My mom's old dog keeps wading right into it up to her belly, jumping out and shaking like a puppy when she's had enough.
We haven't done tons of exploring yet - it's tough with the twins in tow, and I really need to go with clippers in hand because there are tons of thorny vines crossing the creek that I can't get through.
It's amazing to see how much braver Elizabeth has gotten since we moved - she's still kind of a clingy mess (she and Mary Claire insist on holding my hand to go ANYWHERE including down the stairs in our house and have I mentioned it's driving me insane), but she's not afraid of animals anymore, and walks in the creek on her own, and is even willing to cross parking lots and streets without being carried!
The woods are lovely (dark and deep) and I wanted to try to get some good pictures for Micaela's photography challenge (Theme Thursday is back!). Being a halfhearted excuse for a photographer, I aimed the camera at the sun and clicked! Auto everything!
But then I remembered that adjusting the aperture could give me that starburst effect that I really wanted, so I tried that... But the flare was kind of weird?
But Peter was on my back, so I just tried different angles...
Including in the background, with this tree with cool bark in the foreground.
Then I decided to try to frame the sun between some trees, and these two looked good! But it was off-center and that drove me nuts.
And this is my pick! I just love that bright sun filtered through all the leaves in the darkness of the cool forest.
Anyway, back to the creek... The woods aren't super-easy to navigate, and you have to go down a steep-ish hill to get to the creek. So of course all the kids want to go UP the hill and off the path whenever we go back. Especially John Paul, who will be learning to use a hatchet and a saw soon enough so that he can do something with all those branches we chopped off the trees when we cleared the path.
We stopped by the pond on the way home - see that turtle? They really are there!
And in the midst of trying to determine the depth of the pond with sticks, the dog just walked right in and tested it for us!
Answer: Not deep. And now Elizabeth's not afraid of the pond, either!
Which may or may not be a good thing... In any case, none of the kids are allowed to go there on their own yet!
Linking up with one of my favorites, Micaela at California to Korea - do you have a camera? Or a phone with a camera? Theme Thursday is a fun way to explore your photography skills and meet new bloggers - you should join, too!