This week our homeschool had an unplanned, last-minute field trip that turned out to be a very memorable one. We had planned to do our usual school work at home, but then mid-morning a realtor scheduled a showing, and so we needed to leave the premises for at least an hour. I was grumpy about the interruption, but I quickly threw a picnic lunch together and headed to a nearby nature center for an attitude adjustment.
As we meandered into the woods, the sunshine glowing through the brilliantly colored leaves created a magical canopy overhead that helped dissolve my frustrations.
We ate our lunch — during which my youngest lost tooth #6. Oddly, she has lost three of her six lost teeth away from home. After our picnic, the girls and I played for about an hour in the nature exploration area, building a house out of sticks and logs.
The girls would have stayed there the rest of the afternoon, but I was hoping to get in a nice hike through the woods, so we set off on the trail. I lagged behind just a bit so I could capture a picture of them hiking down the path.
I paused to put away my camera, and I looked up when I heard sudden screams. The girls came running madly back toward me in a complete panic. When they ran right past me and nearly all the way back to the visitor center, I knew they must have seen something more frightening than a bee. Through the tears and sobs they finally explained that a garter snake in the path had spooked them. My oldest daughter was first to see it and, thinking it was a colorful stick, had bent down to pick it up just as it slithered off the path.
So much for my hike. Nothing — and I mean nothing — would convince them to head down that trail again anytime soon. I never even saw the snake, but I must admit I felt a little creeped-out, too. We headed toward the nearby dock to re-group for a few minutes at the lake, where snakes weren’t likely to find us. En route back to the visitor center, we came across a “wooly bear” caterpillar, which was much more warmly received than the garter snake.
Shortly after that, we loaded up into the truck and started for home. But just outside of the parking area we noticed a pair of Trumpeter swans on the pond.
Oh joy! And they were close enough to photograph. I turned around, parked the truck, hopped out and captured a few shots of the swans. The girls weren’t eager to hike much closer to the pond, but I didn’t mind. This distance was close enough to photograph the beautiful pair.
If you’ve been reading this blog long, you know I am slightly obsessed with Trumpeter swans, as I have mentioned in this post about a spring swan sighting and this post about how God orchestrates our homeschool plans.
It’s amazing how God truly reveals His glory in the interruptions some days.