Thursday, October 25, 2012

October at Brown County State Park

You'd spend all of October there, too, if you could.

The forested hills of Indiana are famous, at least regionally, for their autumn foliage. To put it simply, they're stunning. I've been taking every free day that we can wrangle lately to drive the girls the 45 minutes to Brown County State Park to tromp around in the loveliness, making use of the Indian summer that's hit us after a few weeks of chilly temperatures. Unfortunately, my photos are negatively affected by the overcast weather signalling the frequent autumn rains that have fortunately put an end to our summer drought (on both days that I've photographed here, we finally left the State Park only when it started to rain), but hopefully you can get the idea--take what you see, amp the colors up by a power of ten, and you'll have a pretty accurate estimate of what it's like here:

So many ladybugs!

Warm enough for bare feet? Not really!

a completely nature-made leaf pile

Sydney and a rattlesnake inspect each other at the Nature Center.

 The girls are impossible to hike with--Sydney RUNS down each trail as fast as she can, while Willow stops to thoroughly inspect absolutely everything. Sydney will run back along the trail to us when she can't see us anymore, but I'm always worried that Willow will look up from her minute inspection of the underside of a rock and have no idea which way we've gone, so I mostly stick with her on the trail. This also lets me capture some priceless moments in the life of my older daughter, moments that are just SO Willow:

However, you do not have to worry that my younger daughter's antics are not being recorded for posterity. It's taken care of!

A day in the woods just about guarantees a happy, relaxing day, don't you think?

It pleases me to take the girls to the State Parks, because one of my (many!) fantasies about homeschooling before we began was just this: spending entire days out in our State Parks, letting the girls play and explore at their leisure. With the difficult times that Willow and I have been having homeschooling together lately, I feel like I'm rewarding myself when I make these dreamed-about moments happen.

Another fantasy that's on its way? The girls and I are taking one of our wild and woolly road trips next month, to North Carolina (to visit some dear friends), Virginia (to see the wild ponies of Chincoteague Island), and Washington, D.C. (to meander The Mall and visit the Smithsonian). Wish me luck in my hyperactive planning!


Kimberly said...

It's refreshing for you to do what I do when Lex falls. Giggle first, check for blood/ask questions second. I find the less of an experience I make it, the less likely he is to cry. Works like a charm.

julie said...

I don't know if it's this age, particularly, or if it's just Willow, but these days she doesn't WANT anyone to fuss, anyway. She did the thing that I always do when I fall--quickly yell out, "I'm okay!" before anyone has a chance to respond.


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