Thursday, July 16, 2009

Into the Woods

This morning's cure for boredom was a walk into the woods, out to the clearing. I packed Abby in her carrier on my front, told Skylar the magic word, "walk", and we darted out the door. Before we get to the woods, we have to make it past Lynne's house and her crazy nine dogs that bark and growl. Then we cross the street past the Minders' dog yard with eight more barking dogs. Abby and I pretend they are saluting us, the dog Queen and Princess of Ross River.
And into the woods we walk. Today we found Skylar a suitable stick, her mission for all walks being to get a stick, hold the stick, never lose the stick. We went under the tall evergreens, and Abigail was soothed from her teething pain by the tall skinny firs and leafy trees dancing in the subtle breeze. A few minutes in, carefully manoeuvring over the twisting roots, we surveyed an exploding burst of purple fireweed, the Yukon flower. We said hello, let them be and continued on to the clearing.
Skylar, all the while, found a chipmunk to chase, numerous butterfly to follow and, when she thought we weren't looking, a bush to hide behind as she chewed her stick.
Into the clearing on a very sunny morning, but not uncomfortably hot, thanks to the breeze. I could smell all the fresh strawberries, cooking under the midnight (albeit, morning in this case) sun. They are wild, about the size of your index fingernail, but whenever I spotted a patch of especially plump-looking ones, I squatted down, pulled them off, squishing most of the juice on my fingers in the process. Skylar tried to figure out how the sweet stuff got from plant to mouth, but never did.
We pressed on, each step disturbing some sleepy microcosm, a butterfly awoken, a squirrel startled awake, a family of ducks on the pond quacking our arrival to each other. In the clearing, Abigail watched the all bushes and grasses sway to and fro; Skylar delighted in hopping in and out of the brush. I enjoyed watching it all, and throwing Skylar's stick into the pond so she could get a quick dip in.
Turn around and we walked the treeline back, following the tracks of quads. Squatted for a few more berries before the Divine Miss N protested, and we pressed on.
Back through the forest, past the fireweed, and the dog lots, safe and sound we were home.

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