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Friday, June 29, 2012

Pursuaisive Beauty

Last year I read a book that posed the question whether or not our children are nature deprived.  Another question the author raised was whether or not this makes our children less spiritual as they are not put face to face with God. After all, his creation declares his glory.

The heavens declare the glory of God; 
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge. 
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice[b] goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world. 

Psalm 19:1-4 NIV

My husband always wants to go outdoors.  And he finds the most wonderful places in nature. 
I still relish the memories of our old fishing trips, prior to having children.  A daring hike down a steep hill, through brush, down to a barely touched river to fish.  Sometimes we had to just dive in the river and swim with our gear to get to the next place because there was no place to walk.  Just pure beauty.  And sitting there fishing with just each other all day, we had enough time to soak it all in.  He found me a lot of those places and I remember catching myself singing hymns about the majesty of God's creation without even consciously wanting to do so.  It was just my response to the utter beauty around us.  No one to distract us from it (there most certainly wasn't any cell phone reception even if we would have wanted it).  We'd love those days and they would restore us for weeks.  
With kids, we can no longer do those daring hikes into solemn places.  

I have to admit, laziness has gotten the best of me too.  After working a hard week, it seems hiking is not on the top of my list.  Thankfully, my husband thinks in selfless ways and gently reminds me that before I say "no", to think about how much fun we would have.  And so reason sets in and I happily join the rest of my family in their excitement.
We've been good lately about going and after a few times of doing so, all of us are feeling in a lot better shape.  Maybe it's just the pure joy of spending time with all five of us in such beautiful surroundings as we are blessed with here.  Just take a look at these pictures.

Even Isabelle is enjoying all this.  There is lots to touch, point at, and apparently taste.  She is a great little explorer and sits still in her Ergo carrier, no matter how long the walk.

For some reason my pictures keep flipping around if they are vertical.  Maybe one of these days the mystery will solve itself.

Here was another gorgeous day (!!!) where we went hiking at a new wildlife refuge we found.  The day was just perfect and toward the end, we got hit by a 10 minute downpour or rain.  To our rescue came some trees canopies that kept us almost completely dry.  We then quickly returned to our car to escape any further downpours.  

Since boys are so "wild at heart" (GREAT read), Nathan especially needs these nature outings.

I'm relaxed just looking at this picture.

And this one.

Or this one. Abby and I have been trying to identify more plants.  We have a small guide but need to get a really good one.  Multiple times we've brought plant samples with flowers and leaves but the guide gave us multiple options. If you know of a good one, let me know.  Abigail is really enjoying this now and would take a whole car load of samples if I'd let her.

Nathan, as you would suspect, is really interested in snakes and insects.  If you know a good identification tool for those, let me know as well.  We saw a garter snake and that made his day.

Even the littlest one got to run around and touch and feel.

Nathan got really excited when this heron flew right over him.  They look gigantic when you see them that close.

Turtles in the sun.  

We think this is an American.....Yep...Forgot the name again.  I'll have to ask David.  He knows this one.  

Well, that's it for now.

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