Our mountains are a mix of deciduous and coniferous trees. Most of the mature hardwood trees have been logged out, but these white pines were left behind to tower over Jude.
All our senses were engaged on this walk...
We stopped to admire these witch hazel flowers, one of the few plants that choose to bloom in fall and winter. "Do they smell?" Jude asked. After we took a whiff, we best described the smell as a little like a lemon or lime.
Next we found little red berries growing close to the ground on tiny little plants. Teaberries! Jude and munched on a few enjoying their spicy taste as we worked our way down the trail.
A little further down the trail, I noticed that my hiking partner was not right by my side. I looked back down the trail and saw him sitting on the ground. My first thought was, "oh no, he is already tired!" But when I walked back...
I found him gently stroking the soft green moss.
We took a moment to feel the soft green moss together.
We discovered these interesting white roots and admired how beautiful they looked all twisted and curly.
Then, we had to climb through large gray branches from a downed tree. The limbs reminded us of the white roots we just admired.
Of course, the colors were so lovely. This patch of young oaks and maples were especially striking. This area was recently logged and it is fenced off so the deer do not prevent these saplings from growing.
This is also an area we love to visit for the huckleberries. If deer were permitted in this area, there surely would be no berries, as the twigs of these plants are favorites of deer. It seems mean to keep the deer out of such plentiful habitat, but it allows for more diversity so the forest can regenerate itself and support all kinds of wild animals.
We see a woolly bear on the trail and stop to feel its woolly coat.
We discover this tree that seems like it has a cave inside its large trunk. We wonder who might live in there? We poke our heads in, but every one is out for the day.
The shape of these wispy white seed pods reminded us of white spiders. We blew them to see what would happen.
Tired from our walking, we head back to the beginning of the trail red leaf still in hand...
"It is good to realize that if love and peace can prevail on earth, and if we can teach our children to honor nature's gifts, the joys and beauties of the outdoors will be here forever." ~Jimmy Carter
Here is a walk we took at the beginning of summer on the same mountain for a bit of contrast. And imagine childhood has a great series of nature walks from all over the world that are always inspiring to me.