On the Third Day of Christmas

. . . we took a hike.

Puckish Sophie in silhouette

My favorite picture of the day: Puckish Sophie in silhouette. Magical.

It was sunny and warm– in the 50s, if you can believe it on the 28th of December– so we went for a hike at Borderland State Park. It’s not far away, but we’d never been there before. Never even heard of it. We just knew we needed to take advantage of the fine weather and get the kids and us out of the house and into the fresh air.

Unsafe Ice Conditions!

Unsafe Ice Conditions!

We meant to get up and get an early start, but our lack of sleep on Christmas Eve caught up to us and we slept in. So instead we went out for lunch and then went for a hike after lunch. It was a long one, more than three miles around the pond. The trail was level and pretty easy, though too many tree branches for a stroller to be able to do it.

kids on the shore.

kids on the shore.

girls on the pier.

girls on the pier.

Lucy on my back.

Lucy on my back.

I carried Lucy on my back. She spent the first few minutes screaming at me: “I don’t wanna piggyback! I don’t wanna piggyback!” Then by the time we got to the pond itself, she was distracted by the landscape, the dogs, other hikers, whatever. Eventually she passed out and took a nap, as I’d hoped she would.

Three by the fallen tree

Three by the fallen tree

Four by the fallen tree

Four by the fallen tree

Selfie with Lucy.

Selfie with Lucy.

kids on a bridge

kids on a bridge

Bella and the magical path

Bella and the magical path

Bella holds Ben back

Bella holds Ben back

Anthony with rosy cheeks

Anthony with rosy cheeks

The hike was not, of course, without complaints. Dom and I checked them off our mental checklist as they came up: the inevitable whines: I’m tired. I want to sit down. I need to use the bathroom. I’m hungry. (Even though we just had lunch!) And it was a very long way for little legs to walk. But when they got too whiny there was always a rock to climb or a log, or a bird or a plant to look at, or water to be poked at with a stick. The hike took about two hours all told.

In the blind, Lucy passed out.

In the blind, Lucy passed out.

in the blind looking out

in the blind looking out

Fungi with stripes

Fungi with stripes

fungi

fungi

Kids on the rocks

Kids on the rocks

Bella on a stump.

Bella on a stump.

Not a lot of wildlife to look at this time of year, but we did identify oak leaves and pine trees, examined several types of fungus.

Sneaky shot of me.

Sneaky shot of me.

Lucy wants to walk on the logs too

Lucy wants to walk on the logs too

walking the last bit with Lu

walking the last bit with Lu

In the woods, I feel more alive, more able to breathe. I forget about the house and the chores and just live in the moment. We need to do this more often.

Five kids on a rock

Five kids on a rock

Time to go home

Time to go home

2 Responses to On the Third Day of Christmas

  1. The Sojourner January 7, 2015 at 7:41 am #

    I think my favorite picture is Bella holding Ben by the hood.

    • Melanie Bettinelli January 7, 2015 at 11:19 pm #

      She was doing that with both Ben and Sophie. They kept finding spots to “fish” and she insisted that before they got near the water she had to steady them by holding their hoods. Of course in the end Sophie did get her shoes wet and Ben almost fell in. So we had to forbid any more “fishing”.

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