Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019

Tucker (Watercolor)

Tucker, trees, rabbit burrow, sky:

 

 

 

Closeup of Tucker:

 

Friday, October 11th, 2019

Hiking Friday @ the Waterville Trails

 

This is my Iris. I love her with all my heart.

 

 

 

Iris loves me, too. She also loves trees.

 

 

 

Iris also loves her brother, tho you wouldn’t always know it.

 

 

 

Iris is cautious. Akiva is daring.

Iris has endurance. Akiva is impulsive.

Iris is devoted. And so is Akiva.

 

 

 

Being together enables them to do things that they might never do separately.

 

 

 

Iris writes Akiva’s name in pine needles.

 

 

 

Then she writes her own—

I

 

 

 

R

 

 

 

I

 

 

 

S

 

 

 

IRIS

 

 

 

We stay in the woods until the sun starts yawning and fluffing its pillow, ready to go to bed.

 

 

 

When we get back home— which is not too far away— Martin & his father are working on the siding.

 

 

 

This is the end of Martin’s 2nd week off work, so they can use all the help they can get.

 

 

 

Akiva works as hard as he usually works.

 

 

 

“Hi, Papa!”

 

 

 

…did I ever tell you the story of how we finally settled on this color of yellow?

 

Saturday, September 28th, 2019

Johnville Bog & Forest Park (Hiking Friday moved to Saturday)

Lately, every time we go to Johnville Bog, it rains. This time, we try to be prepared.

Upon arrival, the children check the weather. We might be prepared.

 

 

 

Some might think a bog an odd location for viewing autumn foliage, but that is likely because they are looking up.

I love the bog in all seasons. In autumn, I hear my friend Sunshine’s voice in my head:

“In Fairbanks, autumn happens on the ground.”

The Johnville Bog & Forest Park is a little slice of boreal forest in the Eastern Townships of Quebec.

 

 

 

I take some overcast portraits of my always adorable children—
#1

 

 

 

& #2

 

 

 

Then I head on, head down. Akiva is also head down.

Unlike his sister, he does not always enjoy walking.

 

 

 

But I take this opportunity of slowness to keep my eye between the cracks.

 

 

 

The light is low. My focus is off. I can’t get close enough. I wish I brought a tripod.

But I never bring a tripod: it is difficult to carry both a tripod and a 50 lb. child.

 

 

 

Cottongrass hovers in the spruce grove.

 

 

 

Pitcher plants nestle among mosses.

 

 

 

Mosses snuggle between the cracks of the decaying boardwalk.

 

 

 

In a boreal forest, autumn happens on the ground.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday, September 23rd, 2019

Autumnal Equinox Bonfire

After the lighting of the fire, Iris leads us in song.

 

 

 

Then ceremoniously, we each add wood to the flames. Toss!

 

 

 

(Toss.)

 

 

 

Huzzah! Toss!

 

 

 

Put.

 

 

 

…and it burns.

 

Sunday, September 22nd, 2019

Papa on the scaffolding

By Iris.

Watercolor & crayon on paper.

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, September 21st, 2019

Akiva plays in the sandbox with his dumptruck.

By Iris.

Watercolor & crayon on paper.

 

 

 

 

Friday, September 20th, 2019

Akiva Fords the Massawippi (Hiking Friday)

On Wednesday, Iris was running across the playground at school when she slipped and fell. She landed on something that tore her pants open and left a gaping wound on her knee. The cut could have used at least eight stitches, but my experience bringing kids to the hospital for stitches hasn’t been so great so far, so I decided just to tape her knee up. I forgot that they don’t just use tape at the hospital: they also use liberal amounts of surgical glue, which I don’t yet keep around the house. But by the time I realized this, it was too late to stitch her up, so the scar will just have to be a bit bigger than it would have been had we gone to the hospital.

 

Meanwhile, Iris’s knee isn’t as bendy as it usually is. Instead of going for a walk in the woods, I take the kids on a bike ride down to the Massawippi river at the spot where, the summer before last, the children used to go swimming. Akiva decides he would like to cross the river by himself while Iris & I sit on the bank together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“…I did it!”

Sunday, September 15th, 2019

100 Things

In second grade, the kids need to bring in a collection of 100 small objects to use as math manipulatives. Not one to settle for pebbles or pennies, we made 100 wax hearts, ten each of ten different colors.

 

Friday, September 13th, 2019

At the Wounded Trees (Hiking Fridays, Val-Estrie games)

With their chests un-girdled,

with the ropes cut at last,

the trees breathe deep.

Their wounds are laid bare to the light.

 

After school, we walk around the former Val-Estrie property—

still known as Val-Estrie due to the failure to acquire any other name.

 

 

 

On the way back from our walk, we stop among the tall cedars that grow just at the beginning of the games trail.

 

 

 

As Iris looks closely at things growing on the ground,

 

 

 

Akiva pulls loose stuck ropes that have been cut from the trees.

 

 

 

Slowly, people have been taking off the ropes that girdle various trees.

 

 

 

I have removed some. Others have removed others.

 

 

 

To soothe the trees’ wounds, my children give them hugs and kisses.

 

 

 

Trees are our companions.

 

 

 

I try for a posed photo amongst the cedars. My models have issues with the sunlight.

 

 

 

“Ow ow ow ow!”

 

 

 

“Perhaps is you face in opposite directions?” I suggest.

 

 

 

I take over 100 photos. All of them have cute children in them, which is a boon to any mediocre landscape photo.

 

 

 

Trees in the sunlight, sunlight in the trees.

 

 

 

I fill a bag full of ropes to take to the trash. There are many left.

 

 

 

 Slowly, slowly. Perhaps one day the ropes will be gone.

 

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

Deer at Dawn

Every morning, in the blue light of dawn, six deer come to graze in the field behind our house as the sun burns the fog from the cool ground.