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Saturday, February 23, 2008

We Got Lost in the Woods

We went on an adventure today, I thought it was just going to be a nature walk. We went to a nearby State Park, went to their museum and climbed an ancient burial mound. At the burial mound, the kids went ahead of me up the stairs and I'm terrified of heights. I went up trying to go as quickly as possible because I realized the kids would be up there without me if I didn't. I ended up having vertigo and a small panic attack as I hit the middle of the stairs.

We got up there, took pictures and I panicked again when Danny kept wanting to go to the edge and look down. Thankfully, other people were there and someone carried Danny down the steps with Camille following. Holding on to both rails, I climbed down too, grateful to the strangers.

I then decided to walk one of the trails. I had seen the maps at the park store but didn't think we needed one. Ha, ha, ha. We followed a trail for a long time, probably 45 minutes only to come to a sign that said, "State Park Boundary Ends". Camille was aching, ready to go to the car and I was a little scared but knew that we could just back-track. It was 5:00 pm. So we turned around and back-tracked following the same trail that led us to the Boundary sign.

We had a great time although I had to remind Camille that it was better to be lost in the woods with Mommy than at home bored. I made the video in an attempt to lighten the mood but Camille was not enthused. When we finally emerged from the woods and headed to the car, Camille said it was a "fun day". I see this as a sign of times to come.

Pictures from our day:

My Nature Journal entry of a piece of Pine Tree bark while the kids played at a playground at the beginning of our excursion.

Walking to the burial mounds, noticing the beautiful view and Spanish Moss dripping from the winter trees.

The kids way ahead of me on the largest mound's stairs. They're going up like it's no big deal. This is the moment I realize they will reach the top unsupervised. It's only 56 feet straight up, that's all. After two days of downpour, there was not a cloud in the sky.

The view from the top of the largest mound. There's a smaller mound in the distance on the right.
This is the closest I would get to the edge.

Pictures from the walking trail

This is Trillium, I'm still working on identifying the actual scientific name of these with purple flowers and variegated leaves. I found these below a tree and took two pictures so I could identify them at home.

This last picture of the mysterious plant/flower (trillium), I found in another location on the trail. It seems to have opened.

I told Camille to be on the lookout for interesting things. She picked tree fungi and rocks. We will identify these later and I'll update this post.

I suspect this is Tyromyces Stipticus-Bitter Bracket but I may be wrong, trying to identify with DK's The Mushroom Book.

We are not at the point to be able to identify these at this time. Camille is recording them in her nature journal like this:

Place found: __________________
Time: ___________________
Color: __________________
Shape: _________________
Characteristics: _______________

Obviously, if she's going to be drawn to rocks I need to look into providing a better guide for her. I'm waiting on this to see where her interest goes.

Danny was having a ball and he felt so big being able to wear the binoculars. He's standing on bridge on the trail.

This is what I saw on our walk back, what is that?!? This is Tree Sap Resin, when a tree is diseased or an insect attacks it, the sap is the tree's way of defending itself. A little too late since this branch was on the ground.

This tree sap resin would harden and become Amber, although sources say that in order for it to be hard it has to fossilize. I had a chance to have beautiful jewelry! Lol.

This is the perfect "The End" photo. This is Camille stomping off ahead, mad at me for getting us lost in the woods. Did I say it was beautiful? I think she was more mad that I was laughing about the situation instead of actually being in the woods without a map that I "could have gotten" from the park office. She reminded me of that fact at least 3 times.



LisaWA said...

Yeah! You made it home! Well done!

You are a great artist! What a great enrty to your nature journal!

We are going for a walk on Monday.... part of the challenge #2 *Ü*

You had a great attitude my dear! Im glad you had a good day... even if it was a little longer than you had planned....


Alana in Canada said...

It's a bigger lesson than just leaves, twigs and rocks.
I think you need to be "lost" more often! (Well perhaps just Camille. (big grin) Sometimes there just aren't any maps. A journey of Faith.) Well done.

crystal said...

Check out this link. I think you may have stumbled onto something really cool!
Looks like a rare kind of Trillium!

crystal said...

And if it's not that,, it could be Trillium gracile. Cool huh? I'm reasonably sure what you have is a Trillium tho.

Tina said...

Oh, {{Jessica}}, you sound just like me in regards to heights. I won't let the kids go near the edges of anything. If it wasn't for the DH, they would have missed out on a lot of things that involve heights.

Your day sounds wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing your day with us. :o)


Michele said...

Trillium would be a great flower for the Trivium Academy!


my5wolfcubs said...

I was just thinking the same thing as michele -- Trillium for Trivium Academy! I'm glad you had a great walk and met some people along the way who could help. I *finally* read about Barb's Green Hour Challenges! They're fantastic!!

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...


Lost in the woods, can't think of a better way to spend my afternoon. :)

I agree that the plant is some sort of trillium. The "goo" on the stick, maybe some kind of fungus...maybe a jelly fungus??? I am not too familiar with many specific kinds of fungi. I have yet to find a good field guide that works for me. Although if you ask my kids, I spend way too much time looking for fungi and then exclaiming how beautiful it is.

Let me just say that I am really proud of your efforts. You have picked some really hard things to identify....fungus and rocks. Plants, trees, and birds are much easier to identify in the beginning. :)

Your nature journal was fantastic...sketching things with texture like that are hard. Rocks, bark, and dirt are really difficult but you did a good job. I stick to things like leaves, mountains, trees, flowers, and birds.

I know it is in your nature to be a 100% kind of gal, but be careful not to set yourself up to such high expectations that you abandon the goal altogether. (Remember the assignment this week was 15 minutes outside, quietly spending time, then to talk about it, and an optional nature journal.)I hope you know I'm not lecturing you, just a gentle encouragement to be aware.

Your entry this week didn't make me cry like last week, but it did make me smile really big. :)

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Trivium Academy said...

Our trip to the State Park was just a "family" day type of day. I didn't even know about the next assignment yet which we'll do this week.

We might be moving in June so I want to explore some areas with the kids and possibly make memories before we go. I am an 100% type but with this, I know we've got to ease into it. The fungus and rocks were not my idea, lol.

Although the goo on the branch, that did catch my eye, as did the trillium.

I love your assignments so far and we'll keep with that.

:) Jessica

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you made it home safely. I'm very terrified of heights too. Wonderful view and nature pics! Thanks for sharing your outting.

Angela said...

This looks like a lot of fun! I envy the weather! I love seeing your little children enjoy time with you! You will be forever blessed!

barrellfullofmonkeys said...

That's so great :) It sounds like something I would do, go out for a quick stroll and get lost in the woods. Glad all of you found your way home safely.

Kathy D.

Jennefer said...

What a fun day! And I agree with the others who've said they couldn't think of a nicer way to spend an afternoon. :) I have never heard of trillium or most other plants for that matter! I'll be learning *a lot* along with my boys.


Rhonda said...

Jessica: What an absolutely gorgeous day you had! The pictures are great. I am totally with you on the height thing. Whenever we go hiking somewhere that involves height I have a really hard time. Dh and the kiddos sometimes laugh at me (in a good natured sort of way.)
Thanks for sharing your beautiful day.
~Have a blessed day.

Annette said...

Wow, I'm glad I stumbled on your blog today! What a great read!

Sharon said...

Hi Jessica, I'm pretty sure the top and bottom rocks are granite, the bottom one I'm more confident with. I think the middle rock is quartz. These two rocks are often found together, and the white specks are actually small quartz crystals, I think I remember from my mining engineer bro and geography-mad Dad. And the fun news that might interest Camille is that quartz is often found with veins of gold running through it. No guarantees for your sample, however! HTH.
~Sharon from Equip Academy

School for Us said...

Glad you made it home from your walk OK. And, I was wondering what kind of burial mounds you got to see. Was it a native American tribe? And, I've never thought about looking at rocks on a nature walk. We'll have to notice them next time!