Friday, October 5, 2012

Cherry Hill Gate- Again

I have to admit, one of my most favorite places to visit is Cherry Hill. I'm not sure if it's any one thing, or a combination of things. No matter what time of year it is, it's simply beautiful. I've never been anyplace else where the birds and chipmunks and squirrels will come right up to you and eat out of your hand. There is a quiet peace there (unless you bring a lot of children, then there's very little that's quiet). :-)
  Today we went to Cherry Hill as a part of our weekly nature walks. We went with 4 homeschooling families in our homeschool group. They were 4 very lovely women and their equally lovely children. All told, there were 6 adults and 9 or 10 children. I'm not entirely sure how many children there were, they kept moving. :-)
  Our walk today was pleasant. One might think that with that many children around, pleasant isn't a word you would use, but it truly was. They weren't unruly, they weren't a raucous bunch, they were excited, but in a fun way, not a "Boy I wish they'd behave." way.
  Here are some pictures that we took. Some are mine, some are Mike's and some are Sam's. Aurora and Caleigh were too busy having fun to take pictures. Can't fault them for that!
We got there early for a change. Of late we seem to be late, but we ended up there 20 minutes early. The kids had fun waiting though!
Here's a pretty little Nuthatch.

He was sitting so pretty there, posing. I knew it was a silent cry to get a picture taken.
The birds had a lot of choices for where to get their seeds from. Good thing there were lots of birds!
The squirrels made sure to get in on some of the good eats too.
Mike has just as much fun as the kids feeding the birds. His childhood love of birds has just gotten bigger the older he's gotten. He's passing that love on to our kids. I couldn't be happier.
Caleigh's favorite thing while we're out is to feed the birds. Even more so than feeding the chipmunks. To think that a matter of months ago she was too scared to try!
That didn't stop her from trying with the chipmunks though.
Eva found some treasures of her own. This is an empty walnut shell. She wanted to take it home with us.
Great picture of Mike feeding a chickadee. When his pictures are shown at the end, you'll see one or two that HE took of him feeding the bird!
This is one of the moms that came with us. She had never fed a wild bird before, I think she did pretty good!
The other boys who came had a great time feeding the birds too. All the kids enjoyed getting in on the fun.
Aurora, for the first time wanted to feed the birds! She told me today that she was a bird feeder, not just a bird watcher. She did actually feed one bird. It scared her to death, it came from behind her and she jumped. She didn't try too hard to feed another one after that. I think she'll try again sometime though! YA!!!!
Sam feeding a bird. He was pretty happy he could show everyone else how to do it. For once he was the tallest hand there.
Isn't she beautiful? She lost her two front teeth this week. She has two more loose teeth on the bottom.  She's kinda impressed.
Look whose saying hi!
The best shot I have of a Blue Jay. They weren't really cooperative as far as posing for pictures today.
This is another one of the moms that came with us and some more of the kids behind her. It was so beautiful out today. We had a good time. I really enjoyed getting to know these ladies better today.
Everything is beautiful, in it's own way. The scenery was breathtaking. I love this time of year anyway, but days like today, it really makes you stop and think. How could all of this have been the result of evolution? How could it have been by chance? There is an order, a method, a design to it. There is a rhythm to the seasons. How can we do anything but pay homage to the Creator of it all?
Her first time feeding a wild bird. She looks so happy! It really is amazing to feel it on your hands. So tiny, it weighs almost nothing. Did you know that the bones of birds are hollow? They have to be for the bird to be light enough to fly. Chickadees also don't fly south for the winter. Right now they are storing up what they can find for the winter. Smart cookies huh?
3 of the 4 moms that came with us and a tiny, beautiful boy and a tiny beautiful Eva.
Awful pretty view huh? I don't believe there's a part of this walk I don't like. The whole thing is beautiful and there's always something to see if you're carefully looking for it.
Would you believe that they managed to get a wagon up this hill? There are a good many roots, some sticking out pretty far going up this way. She still managed to get it up though!
You just can't tell from the pictures, not even after clicking on them and they get bigger, but it is really amazing just how tall the tops of the trees through here are. If you just stand and look up through, you feel really small. Not that I'm that tall to begin with, but still, you feel little.
I just love a good boardwalk!
Here's my token close up of a flower. Isn't it pretty?! It's the only one I got. Sorry.
Here we are at the lookout. It was a nice place to sit and rest. There were ducks here to see. Not a lot else though. Everyone is busy getting ready for winter or is getting ready to leave (or left).
He found a little tunnel to go through under the little bridge. He wanted to make sure that his mom and friends saw him.
She wasn't allowed to go down there though. Much to her chagrin.
You don't have to be a mind reader to know what those boys are thinking. They want to see if they can cross that limb to the other side. Needless to say that the mean old moms vetoed that idea. Probably a good thing, it wiggled an awful lot when they jumped on the end of it.
Don't they look like happy moms? We all had fun. I hope to get together with them all again soon. Even Mike really enjoyed it!
What are downed trees for if not for climbing?
Isn't he just a handsome guy? :-) So dreamy.
Now it's her turn to feed a bird for the first time! It was so much fun to watch!
Our last mom, at the very end, managed to feed a bird too! The trouble is, the bird didn't warn her first, the first time or the second! She darn near jumped out of her skin! This is the after picture. She declined to try a third time.

Here are Mike's pictures. Sam's will come at the end.
Here is one of his pictures taking a picture of a bird while feeding it.
This is a White Throated Sparrow.
This is an immature female Cardinal. We looked it up. This is the end of Mike's masterpieces, Sam's are next!
He tried the same trick as his dad. This was his best shot. He tried several times.
This is a nest in a tree that he found.
See the heart in the dirt?
We saw a woodpecker while we were out. Sam was the only one who managed to get a picture of it.
Here's the female cardinal!
And there you have it! Our hike in a nutshell. :-) Can't wait to update you again next week! I have no idea where we'll be headed, but I can bet you dollars to doughnuts it'll be fun!

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