October 26, 2014

This weekend we were gifted with an unseasonably warm and sunny Saturday so we headed straight outdoors for the largest nature preserve we could find. (Originally, Saturday was to be a stay-at-home-day after our busy, stressful and sleep-deprived week but how can you pass up 70 sunny degrees in late October?)

What's so special about this trail sign? Amid complaining that his feet hurt and he was too tired to keep going uphill, Liam stopped and looked at this sign.  I was about ten feet away but I could hear him, very seriously saying "bb....ah...gg, bahhgg, bahg!"

"Mom, the bog is this way.  What's a bog?"

I was so EXCITED!  Liam sounded out a word all by himself for no reason other than he wanted to know what it said.  This is reading.  Not phonics homework, not a school readiness inventory, not a sight word reader that counts toward a free pizza coupon.  Reading.  For the sake of knowledge.  So EXCITING.  (If I do say so myself!)

We kept walking and saw many creatures but not the red-tailed hawk we were looking for.  Nor did we have a bald eagle sighting.  Most of the fauna were crawling, hopping and slithering at our feet.  We had to be careful where we stepped.  In fact, we were still in the parking lot when we came across three caterpillars and a tiny snake.

                                          Woolly Bear caterpillar  (Pyrrharctia isabella, in case you're wondering)

baby snake in the parking lot
There was so much to see I could have stayed for hours, but the wind picked up and the boys were beginning to tire.  We finished our outing with a story and puzzle inside the large nature center.   I bet you can guess which Dr. Seuss book they have on their shelves!

Henry and I enjoyed the huge observation deck.  As for Liam, aside from the bathrooms, he was attracted to a large screen on the wall.  "What channels do they have, Mom?"  He was clearly disappointed when I said that it only showed a loop of still photographs taken at the preserve.  You can take the child out of the suburbs, but you can't take the suburbs out of the child. 

We returned home exhausted but also in a much better mood than we had been in all week.  Despite Liam's longing for cable tv, there's nothing like a day spent together under a big blue sky.


  1. You guys are so much like us: when the weather is nice, we get outside for as long as possible (even though I'm not always motivated at first). I love your adventures.

  2. Good for you for changing plans in favour of great outdoor fun!! What a moment that must have been when Liam read for himself!

  3. So very cool reading and the outdoors.. Love the pics of them walking side by side. Such brothers. May they always enjoy each other and be best friends.