Saturday, April 30, 2016

Nature Lady

Two weekends ago, I had two programs. One of them was run by a friend of mine who is also a contract employee.  Hers was a rousing success.  The kids had a blast learning about nursery rhymes; they got to card wool, make butter, put together a "Humpty Dumpty" puzzle, and eat crackers in the sunshine.  They even got to meet an awesome little duck, named Opal!

Mother Goose's cousin.... Mother Ducker.
All in all, that program was amazing.

No one came to the second program.

I'm not sure if no one came because it was a nice day out or there were soccer tournaments going on... or if the PR office I've been constantly struggling with never got the posters out so no one even knew about it.
Look at all the people--oh wait.  Those are Mayapples...
As bitter as I am that no one came to that second program, I almost don't care. The day was glorious. The weather was beautiful, the birds were singing, the sky was blue, and I spent the entire day outside. Instead of crying over the fact that no one wanted to come and adopt a tree for Earth Day, I walked around the park that I was at because I haven't been able to do that in a very long time.

Buckeye tree.  It looks like fall, but these leaves are new spring leaves!
I don't much get a chance to go walking out in nature these days. Well, I take that back.  I get to go walking with my friends at two separate parks twice a week, but it's not the same as going out and discovering nature. I like going out and looking at the changes that are happening, especially in spring.  I like finding that one bloodroot flower that is blooming too early....

My favorite part is that the leaf is just so tiny!
Or finding the buds on trees are slowly peeling open...

New leaves and flowers just starting!
 Or the most perfect flower for a fairy hat, the trout lily....

Trout lilies would make excellent fairy garb.

 I found a whole bunch of that as I walked around. I love spring. I say it all the time; spring is the best time of year to do programs. It changes weekly.  Sometimes daily, like how bloodroot flowers only bloom for one day. It changes so subtly that you can't even see it sometimes. One day you'll be driving down the road and there are only redbud trees blooming and then bam! All the trees have their leaves and flowers.

I wandered around taking pictures, and then decided to decorate a tree anyway, even though there was nobody there to do it with me, because it was something that I wanted to do.  All I used was some clay and yarn.  I found the sticks on the ground and stuck them on with clay.

I like that she had a knot that looked like an eyeball!
I had a ton of fun doing this. It was so easy, and I had a blast getting dirty doing it. It called somewhat of a revelation for me because I just knew (I have somehow always known) that I love being out in nature. It's just something that calls to me and something that I really truly love, but I never knew how much I needed it in my life. It's not something that can be distilled and stuck into a vitamin tablet and give it to me. I need that dose of Vitamin N every day. I have to be under the blue sky. I have to be out in the sunlight. I have to be where nature and trees and little animals and flowers and quiet solitude of the woods abounds.

Sometimes I think that I was Thoreau a past life because I just want to go out into the woods and walk and be alone with my thoughts and not have to worry about other people or society. But the most fun that I have is when I take kids out into the woods to see what we can learn outside. That doesn't feel like work to me. I guess what I'm saying is, I need nature in my life, but I feel most excited when I get to share that gift with other people.

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