Some days my son disappears into the woods.
Armed with nothing but his imagination and sense of adventure, he heads into the woods behind my parents’ house, often with his cousins and friends. He’s done this on gorgeous summer days, drizzly evenings, and crisp snowy mornings.
I’m never exactly sure what he does there, nor do I care to go investigate. I hear the occasional shout and the hard crack of wood against wood, so I know they’re safe.
The woods are the setting for untold stories, and the fallen trees are material for a fort. The darkness is a filter from the rest of the world. There is just enough distance between this forest hideaway and the watchful eyes of parents to allow him freedom to invent without boundaries, to play without rules.
I can’t see my son when he’s in the woods, but this is what I know: I know he is developing his independence, his creativity, and his appreciation for our natural environment.
He may come back to the house bug-bitten, scraped, or splintered, but he comes back happy.
I got to see the efforts of the boys’ hard work. They proudly led me through the woods to their fort, and I was so impressed I went back for my phone so I could share what they had built:
Below the trees, where the light barely reaches, the melted snow had created a small pond. Part ice and part water, the trees reflected here and there.
It is a natural abstract.
We took a walk at Lemoine Point (in Kingston, ON) on a mild Sunday afternoon.
Fresh air, sunshine, and spring-like temperatures lured us outside for a walk with the kids. Teeny chickadees and fluffy squirrels were our company.
I found these pictures on a camera I use mainly for travel (and apparently have not used since last spring!).
They brought back memories of a fun weekend upriver: camping, fishing, and four-wheeling.
In this seemingly endless winter, the photos are also a happy reminder that spring does, in fact, exist.
Finally, the winter has warmed enough to enjoy some outdoor activities.
I am still holding out hope that the snow will melt.
But in the meantime, I can’t deny a few appreciated moments that it has brought with it: My children voluntarily playing outside, three times a day; frosted windows; an unexpected snow day; and the coziness of a fire in the wood stove.
Another bitterly cold day means another day spent indoors.
Aside from the increasing energy level of my children (who desperately need some fresh air), I actually don’t mind spending a few days inside. It is a good excuse to read and play with my new camera.
As I have done here: Trees through a frosty window. Outdoor scenes without actually stepping outdoors.
It was a frosty morning.
Rain fell most of yesterday, and overnight it froze.
When I sat down to eat my breakfast this morning, I noticed these frost patterns on the patio table. I ate as quickly as I could, grabbed my camera, and stepped out to capture some frosty photos before the sun rose over the tree line and melted away the night.
I photographed until my fingers froze, then came in and thawed by the fire.
It took a bit of convincing to get the kids outside for the afternoon.
Crisp and cool, it was a refreshing late fall afternoon, too beautiful to be spent indoors. After much procrastination (kids’) and frustration (Mom’s), they were dressed and out. It took about two minutes for them to start having fun. Instead of sitting in front of a video game, they built forts, went for a walk in the woods, and played make-believe on the swing set.
Listening to their carefree laughter was the highlight of my day.
A quiet little brook near my family’s camp doesn’t look like much.
But if you spend a minute noticing the details, seeing the artful lines along its bank and the abstracts in the water, there is a plethora of picture possibilities.
Like this painterly reflection.