After we finished our huge Sunday dinner, washed the dishes and said farewell to the big folks who went to youth group, Nora asked if we could go on a walk through the woods. Just the two of us.
For a moment I wavered. Walk with Nora. Read a few extra chapters of War and Peace.
Nora and I walked along the hay field next to the stream. The waters gurgled, full of little minnows. The tall damp grass scratched Nora's legs. Nora stopped and pointed out the gorgeous flowering tree. It was a tulip poplar. How did I not know that poplars have such beautiful blossoms? The pale yellow cup with orange stripe was striking. Faintly scented. Amazing. We were so surprised.
Nora and I carefully crossed the stream and scrambled up the bank to make our way through five or 10 acres of woods. The ground was littered here and there with poplar blossoms scattered by earlier storm. The trillium was no longer in bloom. Only an occasional late-blooming violet. The ferns are now big and proud. The green leafy woods look so different compared to a walk I took two weeks ago.
I found an empty snail shell. Nora clasped her bouquet of tulip poplar blossoms and violets. We held hands when we could.
Baby hen of the woods mushrooms caught my eye. Must go back for those guys when they are bigger. We saw a few oyster mushrooms and some other unidentifiable varieties. I picked a few to carry back home to see if we could figure out their names.
We picked our way over fallen trees and piles of leaves and squeezed through the barbed wire to head back to the house. The sounds of home called us back.
Grunting pigs snorting alongside the cattle.
Guineas crying "Come quick! Come quick!"
Rooster crowing out his challenge to invisible foes.
The dogs bounded through the leaves with us down the hill to cross the bridge. We deposited our treasures on the table, dug out the mushroom book, did a little research (not enough research for me to safely eat the mushrooms), then Nora went on to play dolls and I got out War and Peace and read about life and death and love and marriage.