Within minutes of arriving we had seen many things to draw. I found a small snake in the little inlet that flowed into the bigger river. When Luke tried to catch it another one swam under his foot, so he ended up getting that one. We also saw cardinal flowers along the bank...
along with these asiatic dayflowers, which Luke identified immediately.
Luke also caught a frog and announced that he had a leopard frog. He always amazes me with his knowledge of the natural world. I guess he learns all of these things by browsing through the field guides. The frog was returned to the river, but the snake was brought home as a pet and now resides in the aquarium in the screenroom.
We lugged out all of our backpacks with nature journals, paints, pencils, poetry books and a field guide and took over two picnic tables near a little river-side fast food place. The river was down considerably from our summer of drought but the boys had fun hiking across and even managed to squeeze in a few swings off of the swimg that goes into the river before I called them back to get started on their journals.
I read a poem, October's Bright Blue Weather by Helen Hunt Jackson, aloud and copied this last stanza into my journal:
"O sun and skies and flowers of June,
Count all your boasts together,
Love loveth best of all the year
October's bright blue weather."
While they were finishing up, I ordered cheeseburgers and chocolate shakes and read to everyone from our historical fiction book (that I had smuggled into my backpack ) while they ate.