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Nature School :: The Question Place

Awhile back, we spent our Nature School time in a different part of the Raccoon Branch area.  This week, we spent it in the branch.  It wasn't too hot in the woods yesterday morning, but the icy mountain stream was still welcome and fun.  No one got cold, though our feet did get a little numb!

Willow calls the area around one section of the stream "The Place Where I Learned to Ask Questions."  That is what she did.  I can remember it well.  It is funny how things change as you have more children.  Laurel seemed to ask questions from the moment she learned to use words!  Willow was solidly three!


I brought my flute along, carefully stashed inside Grandma Lois's shoulder bag from long ago.  She loved going to arts & crafts shows and I feel certain this came from one.


Laurel was a little tentative in the water, but the rocks were very slippery in places.  I'll admit to being a little cautious, too, though I used to spend hours every week standing in streams testing water quality.  I quickly found my feet, and those rocks were just as unpreditcable as ever.

Going Upstream

These two, they were the adventurers.  The water was low, as you can see.  It was probably good for taking children in the creek.  We tried following the water the whole way, but some big storms had blocked the way with logs and debris.  Log jams in action.


It's not often you see Rhododendrons in bloom in the woods, where it is shady, but there were numerous blooms.  You could find the open and discarded flowers floating down the stream.

Tulip Tree

And there were numerous golden leaves scattered on the ground.
Though the heat may be topping out around ninety, harvest and Fall are not far off.

Raccoon Branch

It really was a beautiful morning.  I can see the same stream that has been in my life through many changes, and I can see the hemlocks thinning from the wooly adelgid.  I wonder how the forests will look as the years pass.  I recall the ice of Winter and the splendor of Autumn.  My dad says that you can fly over the land and see that it is not really as crowded as it seems.  It is so easy to lose sight of these wild places, even living in a small town of less that 6,000 people. 

Leaves :


( 4 trees — Plant a Forest )
Jul. 20th, 2016 03:08 pm (UTC)
Such a beautiful post. We can see the signs of declining summer here, too, and they are welcome. 'The Place Where I Learned to Ask Questions' - that is too funny. I think it is very telling that she learned to ask questions out in nature. :) I love to revisit the same places again and again, places that have been a part of my life for years and years. There's something infinitely comforting about that. - Stacey
Jul. 21st, 2016 08:07 pm (UTC)
Indeed, there is. Everything changes--this area is now a wilderness area for all time, and there is great comfort in that.
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 28th, 2016 10:20 am (UTC)
We have so many similarities between our woods and hers, it would not surprise me. This is the place where the twin flowers grow most thickly, like in Peter and Lotta's Christmas. :-)
( 4 trees — Plant a Forest )

A Blessed Wilderness

It was just like being in heaven, being in there. In those days there was no road. The park was all a blessed wilderness. I have often thought what a wonderful people we would have been if we had wanted to keep it that way.

~Adolph Murie, biologist, on Denali


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