Saturday, June 27, 2015

Woods and water














On our trip to Colorado last week, we took a scenic drive in a northwesterly direction from Colorado Springs, where we stayed for the first two nights. The road took us along the Platte River, which is quite high right now after a wet winter and spring. When it was time to stretch our legs, we stopped near a pretty clearing overlooking a branch of the river. It was a short walk from the roadside down to the water. Fallen trees stretched across the stream and the water was actually fairly deep, but those logs beckoned. The small Bears balanced on the logs and did a pretty good job. Four feet got good and wet but nobody fell in. It was good for them; they don't get a lot of precarious water-play down here in New Mexico. The Bear stayed close by, which allowed me to explore a little.

I don't often have much time alone in the outdoors, but it's something I've always enjoyed. We live in the city and I take myself to the park sometimes, but real, honest-to-goodness wilderness isn't a big part of my life anymore. I miss it. This day was a good chance to walk around, get my own feet a little wet and muddy (I had sneakers on), scope out wildflowers and gaze at the trees, staring up into the boughs of old-growth cedars and pines. There were butterflies everywhere, sipping water from the marshy grass, flitting away too quickly for me to photograph them. But I can tell you there were butterflies of nearly every color: white, blue, orange, brown, yellow, red and black. There were bees and dragonflies. It was like a fairy tale forest and with my family busy playing, I had it all to myself.

We gathered for lunch after a while, once the small Bears had begun to get clumsy on the logs, their feet soaked and their faces red with the heat. We spread a blanket on the ground under a huge, shady pine and we ate. There were bagels, yogurt cups, bananas and apples, water in Nalgene bottles - a simple meal, easy to pack and transport. Everyone liked it well enough. Then we all lay on the blanket and rested, looking up into the trees, listening to the birds and watching vehicles pass on the road nearby - campers, massive pickup trucks, motorcycles. I almost fell asleep once or twice. It was quiet and peaceful, the air was fresh, scented with pine, and the shade was cool. We're not fancy-vacation people - give us a hike, or a cave tour, or a museum, and we're very happy. That day, it was a meandering drive in the pine forest, with a stop for play and a picnic. It felt relaxed, unhurried, connected to the place we were visiting. To me, that's exactly how vacation should feel.

We moved on after a couple of hours. I said goodbye, right out loud, to the wildflowers, the pine cones, the burbling water and the trees. My children gave me a funny look but then they joined in; we were grateful for our time there, so glad we had stopped in the clearing by the side of the road where water glinted through the trees.

33 comments:

  1. oh Jennifer that sounds like just the perfect day x

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's exactly what I thought. Reading this post epitomises exactly why I love blogging so much. It re-connects me to the time when my children were this age and we had happy times messing about in rivers. Thank you Jennifer for sharing these special moments, and good for you for taking a little time to be by yourself and pay attention to the beauty of our world.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a lovely spot, just the sort of thing we'd love too. It's amazing how long logs and water can entertain children. And it's always wonderful to see butterflies and wild flowers isn't it. Your photos and words have really conveyed the peace of that little corner. CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
  4. That spot looks heavenly Jennifer. My two would have loved that when they were smaller, in fact they'd love it now. Nothing beats a good picnic in a good spot. Xx

    ReplyDelete
  5. It sounds like an amazing place to have spent an hour or more! :o)

    ReplyDelete
  6. It all sounds so lovely. There is something about streams and rocks that children (big and little ;-)) can't resist! Your quiet walk in the trees sounds magical. More and more I see the beauty in the simple things, they often contain the happiest hours. x

    ReplyDelete
  7. That is such a pretty place. What a great spot for a picnic.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Your photos are beautiful! It looks like a wonderful time with family.

    ReplyDelete
  9. What perfect moments. I could almost smell the pines. It,s been a while since I've fallen asleep under a shady tree. I may have to try that again soon. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  10. The first photo is so gorgeous with all the green trees aganist the beautiful, blue sky. It sounds like you had a really special day!

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a wonderful thing to do.. pull off the road and explore the woods and streams.. and a picnic too. What a neat experience for you all. When we're on the road this summer I hope to pull off the road and enjoy things like this. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Such a wonderful day, a beautiful reminder of what holidays should be about, creating some wonderful memories to take home with you and treasure.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sounds a wonderful way to spend a day to me. Being outside like that can really help re-charge your batteries - or maybe that's just me! x

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sounds like a beautiful road trip with a drop of adventure to the mix!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Lovely photo's Jennifer, it sounds like a perfect day I could almost imagine myself being right there with you. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Looks like you all had a fantastic time! It feels weird, seeing you in shorts and T-shirts, when we are freezing cold here!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Beautiful photos Jennifer and sounds like a lovely day, enjoyed by all.
    Marianne x

    ReplyDelete
  18. Beautiful post, I feel as if I was right there with you :) My favourite place is in the woods. When we are hiking the trails through them, sometimes I just want to stop and sit on those rocks and enjoy the breeze through the trees, and the sights and sounds that come back to the forest when we are still. You made a good memory there on the side of the road.
    Wendy

    ReplyDelete
  19. It looks like it was a wonderful trip. I miss the outdoors, I miss the smell of the forest, and the sound of water. So glad the little bears had a good time.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

    ReplyDelete
  20. That sounds like the perfect kind of day, Jennifer. I love your description of it, and your photos. There's something very special about being in the outdoors. I'm glad you had the chance to experience it all on your own for a bit. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  21. It looks wonderful, blue sky, greenery, and I've always found that kids are happy if they've got some water to play in/with. The perfect spot for an hour or two.

    ReplyDelete
  22. This is just the kind thing my family would enjoy. Particularly the balancing on trees in the water part. Lovely. I appreciate how much you enjoy the wilderness on your own, even for just a short while. It is special. Have a lovely week Jennifer. x

    ReplyDelete
  23. Sounds just lovely. I always offer thanks to Mother Nature when we leave the woods :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Jennifer, you have such a descriptive way of writing and you could have been writing about our family vacations in Colorado, (or the Black Hills, or Yellowstone), almost word for word. Even the same lunch, except our water was in a big old thermos! Oh I miss those days and even shed a tear or two as I read this. I would tell you to treasure these days, but, I know you already are. Thank you for renewing my memories by sharing yours.
    Blessings,
    Bets

    ReplyDelete
  25. Ahhhh...vacation. It is a vicarious vacation for me viewing your lovely photos and typed descriptions. Thanks for sharing, Jennifer. Ahhhhh....I'm happily relaxed and chuckling as I imagine hearing you and yours say good-bye to the Colorado wonders around you. Ahhhh.... xx :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. What a perfect day, Jennifer. Lovely scenery, that sweet bubbling little river for playing, and butterflies and trees! I love the outdoors too - so pleased you had a nice vacation.

    ReplyDelete
  27. What a perfect day. Is the GB's skirt one of yours? Those blue flowers are beautiful. Have a lovely week :) xx

    ReplyDelete
  28. What a wonderful day for you and your family, in a beautiful place.,loved the pictures, loved the blue flowers. It is such fun for children to spend time like this. So glad you are all enjoying the vacation.
    Happy new week.
    Helen xox

    ReplyDelete
  29. I think there is no better way to spend a family holiday than how you just described it...
    I escaped from the city more than ten years ago, and now I live on the countryside, but not a day goes by that I don't feel happy about making the decision to move here... Nothing beats nature !

    ReplyDelete
  30. Wonderful to stop, take time to explore and have a picnic. That's what family time is all about! X

    ReplyDelete
  31. It sounds really idyllic, the best kind of memory to take away with you from a holiday. And the bokeh in that last photo is beautiful. x

    ReplyDelete
  32. That sounds like my kind of holiday. We don't ever seek the sun, just time to unwind. And although we already live rurally we can always find somewere wilder to visit.

    The bears look like they were having the best time :o)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Beautiful Place :) love that kinda adventures :) too bad my hubby is too lazy to go anywhere with me :(

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving a comment. It's so good to hear from you! I don't always have time to reply but I try to answer questions when I can.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...