On the first Sunday in May, Dad announced, “Let’s go to Rexmont for a drive on such a nice day.”
“We could take our wildflower guide and a notebook,” I decided. “And let’s see how many wildflowers we can identify for the Nature Friend Wildflower Contest.
While riding in the carriage for several miles, we were able to identify dandelions, mustard, daisies, ground ivy, buttercups, and bluebells. We have a Peterson’s Field Guide of Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants and Herbs, so there were a few that we were not able to identify.
Eli had sandwich bags and a small list of things for everyone to find, such as a stone, bark, feather, fern, etc.
As the seven of us walked up the trail, Katelyn asked, “What’s this, Mom?”
“Oh, that’s a violet. They are so cute. And here are some pretty ferns. It’s amazing how God created so many different flowers, and all so beautiful.”
As we walked farther, someone spotted the fuzzy mullein plant, and I showed the children what mayapples are. They were only in buds yet.
When we took a smaller trail down toward the creek, Dad spotted a spider’s hole with a mud cap just next to its door. We discovered a lot more along the trail, and the boys remembered reading about these spiders in a Nature Friend magazine.
“Wow, this is nice here!” I exclaimed when we came to a little waterfall. The sandwich bags containing leaves, flowers, and more treasures were dumped out and filled with water. There were excited cries and shouts as some of the bags got holes, and became great water squirters! Some of the little girls’ shoes and dresses got wet, but it was a warm 85° day, so no one minded getting a little wet.
Finally as we were circling back toward the road, we spotted a few more wildflowers, which later we identified as dwarf cinquefoil and creeping wood sorrel, both dainty and yellow. We also found a small white cluster of sweet cicely.
“What’s that bird you hear?” asked Dad.
“It’s a Blue Jay,” someone answered. We also heard cardinals and other nice songbirds.
As we walked out over some rocks, Dad called, “Watch out! There’s a snake!” It was small and gray with dark bands. No one was sure what kind of snake it was.
Allen found a baby pine cone, and, as we walked on, we found a lot more. They must have been knocked down by the high winds we had a few days earlier. The girls found big papa and mama pine cones, big sister, twins, and babies.
We were all glad to get back to the carriage for a drink, granola bars, apples, and snack sticks.
What an interesting and worthwhile afternoon!